Project Return is solely dedicated to the people who are returning to our community after incarceration. Their opportunities for success in employment and housing are amplified by our social entrepreneurship.

Mass incarceration is one of the defining dilemmas of our day. Nothing about addressing mass incarceration can be effective unless we assure that people have opportunities to succeed when they get out.

We coach people through their job search, acquisition, advancement, and retention. We pair that with a wide array of wraparound services and ongoing support. Our participants are motivated job seekers, fueled by their desire to leave prison behind and lead new, productive lives. We meet that need with opportunity, and a judgment-free approach in which we embrace the individuals who make their way – destitute, but determined – to Project Return.

Our programs:

  • Prison In-Reach: We go inside correctional facilities across the state to help people prepare themselves for release. Through our presentations in prisons and jails, we spark connections with the men and women who will soon again become residents in our community.
  • Reentry Program: The heart of our entire operation; our Job Readiness classes, delivered weekly, propel people forward in their new beginning after incarceration, and our ongoing employment services include connecting people well with work while meeting their immediate and ongoing needs.
  • PRO Employment: Our first social enterprise is a transitional jobs venture. We hire people ourselves, immediately after their release from incarceration. They gain income and valuable experience, and our employment partners gain a motivated workforce. Having a job is the most important way to keep from going back to prison.
  • PRO Housing: Our second social enterprise is an affordable housing initiative. We acquire rental properties and assure that people have a place to call “home”.
  • Reentry Entrepreneurship Program: People with entrepreneurial ambitions gain business modeling and mentoring.
  • Job Retention Services: Our effort to coach and support people, beyond initial job acquisition, in their successful work lives and career advancement.

In the news:

Nonprofit tackles housing hurdles for former offenders – The Tennessean

THDA presents Project Return with Housing Trust Fund grant – The Nashville PRIDE

Q&A: Project Return’s Bettie Kirkland – The Nashville Post