LANSING, Mich. — Power in Passion is a community organization that aims to help people have been incarcerated and stop the revolving door to jail and prison.
“We’ve all made mistakes. Maybe not the same mistakes but we all deserve a second chance," said founder and CEO Katy Kelly.
She started the organization because of her own experience with her fiance being released from prison.
"The recidivism rate is so high and especially for technical violations. The United States as a whole there’s 168,000 people in prison right now specifically for technical violations,” Kelly said.
Sometimes not being able to find that supportive community to help those who have been released from prison keep up with parole requirements can land them back behind bars.
“It shouldn’t be like a big deal that someone hires felons or something like that. Because everyone makes mistakes. It’s just really not fair to people that they can be denied work or shelter even," former Power in Passion participant Marshall Kelly said.
Power in Passion was started almost two years ago and launched an app in November 2019 to help returning citizens stay on track, connect them with mentors and help them find resources.
They are able to find things like employers that hire felons, housing, places where they can find food and get clothing for interviews.
They have about 100 app users right now and also help many people working out of The Fledge on Lansing's east side.
It's helped many people like Kelly and Dess Hull.
I was actually incarcerated in 2019 and part of 2020 and after getting out I just needed some help integrating myself back into the community and adjusting my lifestyle
“It makes me feel like there’s someone on the other end holding me accountable. I have a lot of court dates, drug testing, and drops to do. Just a busy schedule beyond probation. I feel like it holds me accountable, and it feels good to know that I’ve got support," Hull said.
Those who use the services are even rewarded for positive behavior and given FLDG coins. It allows them to buy things they need in the app like LYFT and grocery store gift cards.
Hull was able to earn enough FLDG coins to rent out a studio where he makes his art.
“It’s really awesome. There’s really no other way to put it. It’s really fulling. This is something two years ago that I never thought I’d be able to do. I never thought I’d be able to get here,” Hull said.
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