The public is invited to bear witness as the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship honors the graduates of its Coming Home Program on Tuesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. at the Fellowship, 67 South Randolph Avenue, Poughkeepsie. This is the third Coming Home class to graduate in as many years.

The Coming Home Life Skills Empowerment Program seeks to empower men and women who are returning from incarceration and is based on a well-established model carrying a track record of success and over a thousand graduates in the New York metropolitan area in the past two decades. Participants work with facilitators and mentors to support personal healing and growth, life skills development and reintegration into the community. It is sponsored by the UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie, The Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty, and The Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.

Participants begin each Tuesday evening in the 19-week program by enjoying a communal dinner, served each week by a different local congregation. This is followed by meetings in which participants are matched with a mentor and explore life skills development, goal-setting, and sharing their personal stories. The program culminates in a graduation ceremony, to which all members of the community are invited to celebrate the achievements of each of the graduates.

The graduation ceremony will begin with coffee, desserts and snacks. There will be music and (short) speeches; the graduates will be invited to speak about their experiences in the program; and their mentors will share their experience of mentoring these extraordinary individuals.

The Coming Home Program is made possible in part by generous grants from the New York State Convention of Universalists, the Unitarian Universalist Association and The  Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, including:

The Jeannette F. Schlobach Fund
The Jonah Sherman Family Fund The Richard S. & Harriet K. Fein Fund
The Stevens Family Fund
The William & Marcella Teahan Memorial Fund

For more information, contact Pat Lamanna at or 845-309-3853.

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