In-person Learning

Transition Home Program

In mid-2019, WIND launched its first in-person course at a recovery home for women on Chicago’s near west side. This initial course blossomed into four regularly offered multi-week programs: Essential Skills, Money Matters, Designing Your Future, and Writing for Empowerment. At the end of each course, participants receive a Certificate of Achievement and a letter to show a judge or parole officer their determination to turn their lives around.

Special Topics

Supplementing the core programs are 1-2 week sessions focusing on topics of particular interest to the women we serve and led by experts from various fields. For example, WIND has offered special sessions on Housing Opportunities, Ethics in the Workplace, and Women’s Health (“Taking Care of Your Lady Parts”). We are always open to suggestions for these from our partners and volunteers.

WIND's special sessions include information on the #1 concern for our transition home participants: Finding affordable Housing.

WIND Community-based Workshops (CBW)

In 2023, WIND launched its newest initiative, CBW. These half-day sessions at our various partner sites are intended to offer services to system-impacted women who are living in the community, not in a reentry facility or transition program. We modify our current curriculum and create new topics that help support women in reentry, the vast majority of whom return to their home communities and need additional services to reduce recidivism.

Community-based Workshops are intended for women who are not residing in a facility, but living on their own and are in need of support because they are at-risk or are formerly incarcerated.

According to The Chicago Reentry Report, 90% of the individuals paroled in Chicago move in with relatives. Only 5% move into transitional housing programs. Every year thousands of women return to incarceration because they don’t have a way to address the root causes that sent them there: trauma/low self-esteem leading to substance abuse with few chances to get therapeutic support plus lack of skills which limits their ability to earn a living wage. Female parolees have greater difficulty obtaining employment and housing than males and are at greater risk of living without homes. Women of color, particularly Black women, face the highest levels of unemployment and homelessness. (Nowhere to Go: Homelessness among formerly incarcerated people, Lucius Couloute, August 2018)

With this data, we saw a large group of women who are not identified as needing services because they are not affiliated with a residential program, but would benefit from the WIND Program. This WIND’s CBW was started to address this need.

WIND's special sessions include information on the #1 concern for our transition home participants: Finding affordable Housing.