Cross
Podcasts

Building Bridges Podcasts are audio recordings of Bridge Building Sessions from the 2020 Community Experience. Each podcast helps you rise to the unprecedented challenge of Building Bridges of Opportunity for men, women, and families coming home during the pandemic. Sessions are contextual, as well, for metro, mid-size and rural communities. Sessions include organization, government, & faith leaders, community practitioners, ministry volunteers, and people with lived reentry experiences. Watch, listen, reflect and connect with the sessions’ presenters to stay encouraged and effective in your own work and efforts!


Best Pandemic Practices & Pivots for Mentoring Women


We are all dealing with a sense of losing connection with someone who is important to us. For those of us who are called to mentoring youth, families, or adults, we are struggling to find solid footing in our current shifting foundation. Join mentoring experts around the lunch table for a real and relevant discussion on best practices and pivots for effective pandemic mentoring. This session explores setting realistic expectations for mentoring women and effective ways to continue to be a life-giving presence and a stable relationship in this season of social distancing.

Guest Presenters:

  • Stacy Yeager, Greater Good Ambassadors
  • Vanita Nevis, ARCH
  • Barb Vogt, Westwood UMC
  • Facilitator: Kathi Herington, WOCUMC
     

Best Pandemic Practices & Pivots for Mentoring Men


We are all dealing with a sense of losing connection with someone who is important to us. For those of us who are called to mentoring youth, families, or adults, we are struggling to find solid footing in our current shifting foundation. Join mentoring experts around the lunch table for a real and relevant discussion on best practices and pivots for effective pandemic mentoring. This session explores setting realistic expectations for mentoring women and effective ways to continue to be a life-giving presence and a stable relationship in this season of social distancing.

Men’s Session:

  • Carlos Christian, Starts within Organization
  • Burl Lemon, Forever Dads
  • Facilitator: Richard Swiger, Prison Fellowship
     

Which Reentry Gaps Got Bigger and What Community Members Can Do to Fill Them


Reentry systems and structures often contain gaps in services, connections, and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed, and even widened, many of these gaps. In this session, our panel of reentry coalition leaders will discuss which gaps need to be filled first and what community members can do to help in all types of communities.

Guest Panelists:

  • Trina Jackson, Hamilton County Office of Reentry
  • Shawn Stover, Athens County Reentry Task Force
  • Crystal Bryant, Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry
  • Sandy Monfort, West Central Ohio Reentry Coalition
  • Kysten Palmore, Ohio Department of Youth Services
  • Facilitator: Ronette Burkes-Trowsdell, ODRC Office of Reentry
     

Restarting Education and Workforce Development Services


Join reentry education specialist Cheryl Taylor from Sinclair Community College and Jamie Gee, Manager for the Montgomery County Office of Reentry, as they lead a discussion on lessons being learned in navigating and improving these two critical Reentry service areas during the pandemic. They discuss what’s working, what needs to be left behind, and what new opportunities are emerging as they have restarted how they service returning citizens.

Guest Presenters:

  • Cheryl Taylor, Sinclair Community College
  • Maya Murray, Sinclair Community College
  • Jamie Gee, Montgomery County Office of Reentry
  • Facilitator: Jennifer Nail, ODRC Office of Reentry
     

Mental Health & Basic HealthCare Pandemic Impact, Practices, Pivots & Opportunities


Mental health and basic healthcare are essential supportive systems for every restored citizens’ successfully Reentry. As the dual physiological and racial injustice pandemics’ disproportionately impacts minority and poor communities, collaboration within the community itself is essential to closing the gap. In this session, Kelly Storm, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Office of Correctional Health, provides an overview of the gaps exposed by the pandemics. She offers real-time guidance on effective collaboration to address the mental and physical health crises to strengthen the continuum of care for returning citizens in our larger population centers.

Presenters:

  • Kelly Storm, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Office of Correctional Health
  • Facilitator: Kysten Palmore, Ohio Department of Youth Services
     

Faith-Based Approaches to Making Affordable Housing Accessible


Affordable housing for returning citizens is in short supply in all community contexts. What is not in short supply are houses of worship and people of faith. What opportunities are currently available for faith communities to collaborate and help solve this issue? Join faith-based leaders as they surface solutions and strategies for today’s housing shortage in metro and mid-size communities.

Presenters:

  • Michele Reynolds, NISRE, LLC. 
  • Vaughn Cook, Gethsemane United Methodist Church
  • Facilitator: Tom Luettke, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Lucas County Reentry Coordinator
     

Pandemic Impact, Practices, Pivots & Opportunities for Recovery Support


Recovery services are essential reentry supports for many returning citizens and their families. The widened gap in the delivery of recovery services has only exacerbated the traumatic impact of the current pandemics. In this session, a panel of front-line recovery practitioners and state agency representatives provide an overview of the gaps exposed by the pandemics and offer real-time guidance on what’s working, what’s not, and what collaboration is essential for addressing the recovery crisis.

Presenters:

  • Dr. John Sexten, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Harold Howard, Talbert House
  • Moderator: Kimberly Dent, Ohio Commission on Fatherhood
     

Collaborating to Solve Rural Housing Issues


Rural communities face unique challenges and offer unique opportunities for accessible and affordable housing for returning citizen when faith communities step up. This session focuses on building collaborative efforts for rural recovery housing for returning citizens and navigating pandemic rapid rehousing for families.  Participants will engage with presenters in surfacing collaborative strategies and solutions for more and better rural housing opportunities, as well.

Presenters:

  • Matthew Walls, JacobsWay
  • Gwyn Stetler, Family Promise of Delaware County
  • Facilitator: Diane Bricker, Delaware County Reentry Coordinator
     

Emerging Challenges and Opportunities in Rural Recovery Support


In Ohio, the fastest growing incarceration population are women from rural communities. In rural communities, recovery services were limited prior to COVID-19. Now, access to recovery communities and services is even more challenging. Join Southeast Ohio’s Reggie Robinson, Community Coordinator at Health Recovery Services, and Lamont Sapp from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services  for insights on navigating the emerging challenges in rural recovery and some simple steps communities can do collaboratively to increase accessibility to recovery services for rural returning citizens.

Presenters:

  • Reggie Robinson, Community Coordinator at Health Recovery Services
  • Lamont Sapp, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Facilitator: Pastor Greg Delaney, REACH For Tomorrow
     

Why it’s Time for Faith Communities to Speak Up and Step Up


Successful reentry goes beyond a person’s best efforts. It is a social justice issue. It’s a faith issue, too. In this session, two community faith-based leaders talk about why closed church doors open opportunities for advocacy and action in the community. They will provide two action steps every faith community can take to address the current challenges in their communities and who needs to be key collaborating partners to not only change a life during the transition back to community but change systems and structures that benefit successful reentry.

Presenters:

  • Pastor David Meredith, Clifton United Methodist Church
  • Pastor Ennis Tait, New Beginnings Church of the Living God
  • Facilitator: Michelle Reynolds, Ohio Governor’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives
     

State-Level Advocacy


The dual COVID-19 and racial injustices pandemics are creating opportunity to change policies, structures and systems that work against successful reentry within Ohio. In this session, participants will engage with presenters in surfacing strategic advocacy efforts that can achieve a better reentry outcome for all citizens.

Presenters:

  • Tom Luettke, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Lucas County Reentry Coordinator
  • Wendy Tarr, Accompanying Returning Citizens with Hope 
  • Zaria Davis, Pretrial Justice Institute
  • Facilitator: Kysten Palmore, Ohio Department of Youth Services
     

Restored Citizens Employers’ Roundtable


Some of today’s most passionate second chance employers are formally incarcerated employers. However, the challenges of being an employer and a restored citizen have disproportionately increase during the pandemic. This roundtable puts you in community with restored citizens who are navigating the pandemic as second chance employers. Receive wisdom, inspiration, and guidance from your peers.  

Panelists:

  • Harley Blakeman, HonestJobs 
  • Malika Kidd, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries
  • Kathy Kaufman, K9 Country Kennels
  • Moderator: Jennifer Nail, ODRC Office of Reentry