“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela
F.O.R.T.E. House programming was founded in 2017 to provide tools towards economic self-sufficiency for formerly incarcerated students transitioning through post-secondary education. Our founding members were inspired to address transformative justice solutions to attrition, elevated recidivism, and disenfranchisement to better our communities.
According to the Institute for Higher Education Policy, left without access to education beyond the secondary level, seven in 10 formerly incarcerated persons are more than likely to return to prison within three years—thus, creating additional financial burdens and harm to their communities due to recidivism. Rand also reported that those who participate in education programs while incarcerated are 43% less likely to return to prison than those who don’t. Access to higher education lowers recidivism and generates holistic justice efforts surrounding mass incarceration. Housing is a stabilizing force, giving offenders a consistent base from which they can access employment, community resources, family, positive social networks, and other supportive services. Therefore, access to supportive housing and the wraparound social services that F.O.R.T.E. House offer is a crucial entity within this movement.
F.O.R.T.E. House addresses the educational, social, recreational, and logistical needs of adult students with prior justice involvement by using transformative justice programming to enhance community safety. We focus on providing stability and guiding with economic self-sufficiency for students through socialization and strategic programming.
Our mission continues to be guided by our founding principles of autonomy, accountability, and growth mindset.