Riverside House is a residential reentry center that helps men and women transition from prison back into society. Its mission is to guide its residents into becoming productive citizens through a nondenominational, faith-based approach. They offer assistance in securing employment, finding housing and reunifying families. In addition, Riverside House connects residents with substance abuse or mental health counseling that is often needed. The Junior League of Miami has been volunteering at Riverside House monthly since September of 2018 to help parents bond again with their children after being separated by incarceration.
Since The Junior League’s founding in 1901 by social activist Mary Harriman, The Junior League has evolved into one of the oldest, largest and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing 140,000 women in 291 Leagues in four countries. The Junior League of Miami Inc.’s (JLM) mission is to empower Miami’s women, children and families to conquer tomorrow’s challenges and to build a united community. Annually, the Junior League puts out a Request for Proposals for their Community Partners project. Last year, Riverside House was one of three recipients of the Community Partner award.
When The Junior League comes to Riverside House, the members lead a fun night of games and activities, which includes arts and crafts for parents and their children to help families reunify after the parent’s absence during incarceration. “It is so heartening to quite literally watch these bonds re-solidify before our eyes,” states Carey Kane who works in Riverside House’s development department. “Riverside House, like many of the projects the Junior League of Miami takes on, is an opportunity to make a positive impact in today’s community. This project embodies the League’s mission and vision – conquer tomorrow’s challenges today and build a stronger, more united community,” said Deborah Koch, JLM president.