October 30, 2015

Fortaleza Re-Entry Project adds to local My Brother’s Keeper initiatives

Fortaleza press conference

With Deborah Embry, President and CEO of Tucson Urban League, and Carol Carpenter, Chief Program Development Officer of Pima Prevention Partnership, at the press conference, October 2015

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild held a press conference this morning to congratulate three local nonprofits on a new collaborative to help Latino and Latina youth ages 18 to 24 successfully re-enter society after incarceration.

The three nonprofits—Pima Prevention Partnership, Amistades and Tucson Urban League—worked together to apply for an extremely competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and, ultimately, theirs was one of just six applications to receive funding. The two-year grant, for $483,334, funds a new program called the Fortaleza Re-Entry Project (fortaleza means inner strength), which begins in January 2016.

The program will be located on the Tucson Urban League campus, giving participants access to the Urban League’s weatherization and HVAC apprenticeship program, as well as workforce development services through Pima OneStop. Amistades, which was recognized by the White House as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education and received a $50,000 grant from Hispanics in Philanthropy, will infuse cultural components into the program.

This collaborative program touches on a number of areas the mayor has been working on: poverty, re-entry, increasing graduation rates and his recent commitment to the president’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to increase opportunities for boys and young men of color.

Mayor Rothschild wished the program success and expressed hope that it would meet its goal of becoming a national model for similar efforts to help Latino and Latina youth with re-entry.