NYAPC is part of the Returning Citizens Assistance Network (RCAN). This network of congregations in Washington, DC, responds to requests from the DC Public Defender Service for assistance to their clients with specific short-term needs. RCAN helps to resolve problems and issues that threaten the ability of returning citizens and others in the criminal justice system to successfully transition back to society. Members of our congregation and Metropolitan AME Church worked with the Public Defender Service to establish RCAN in 2018 and it which now includes twenty churches and synagogues.
Here are some examples of the kind of assistance RCAN offers:
- Providing clothes and food for those just out of prison
- Giving informal life-skills counseling or short-term mentoring.
- Helping to find an apartment or paying an application fee or security deposit
- Writing and sending books to those who are still incarcerated
- Collecting donated furniture to help furnish apartments for returning citizens
- Providing funds to avoid eviction or helping with other emergency needs
- Helping with official documents or, under power of attorney, doing other tasks
- Assisting efforts to find work by navigating applications or connecting with prospective employers
Congregations in the network agree to:
- Receive regular information from the network about specific individuals who need assistance
- Check with members of the congregation to see if anyone can assist with a specific request
- Help to coordinate the efforts of those who want to respond to requests
You can donate to RCAN on the Give page by selecting “RCAN Returning Citizens” from the drop down menu.