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Turn90 receives grant to help men get jobs after prison

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Turn90, a nonprofit that helps men get jobs after prison, received a $50,000 grant from Power:Ed. (Photo/Provided)

Turn90, a nonprofit that equips men to succeed after prison by providing a route to a career-path job, has received a $50,000 grant from Power:Ed, a philanthropic project of SC Student Loan.

The funds will be used to hire two new staff members to lead expansion of the program’s services into the Upstate in 2023, according to a news release. Turn90 currently is operating in Charleston and Columbia.

According to statistics compiled by Turn90, Greenville County currently receives the most men returning home from state prison at 10.4%, with Spartanburg County second-highest at 9.4%.

Nationwide, according to Turn90, 62% of people returning home from prison are rearrested within three years, but only 22% of Turn90 graduates have been rearrested, and only one of more than 100 graduates has ever been re-incarcerated.

“Power:Ed’s mission is to create opportunities and change lives by supporting successful programs that reduce barriers to education and career readiness for South Carolinians,” said Claire Gibbons, director of Power:Ed. “Turn90 is achieving just that, and we are proud to support their growth plans and provide that last funding needed for statewide expansion.”

Turn90’s program helps men develop social, emotional and workforce skills. It combines cognitive behavioral classes with transitional work, supportive services and job placement.

“This partnership with Power:Ed is a huge step forward, not only for Turn90 but for all of South Carolina,” said Amy Barch, founder and executive director of Turn 90. “When people are released from prison with a pathway to livable wage employment, benefits and opportunities for growth, they are less likely to return to criminal behavior.”

In the second quarter of this fiscal year, Power:Ed has awarded six grants totaling nearly $219,000 to workforce and development nonprofits in the state, including Turn90. Grants are administered quarterly and the deadline for the next round of funding is Oct. 1.

Founded in 2019, Power:Ed focuses on creating opportunities for South Carolina’s youth and adults by supporting low-income, minority and first generation students, improving access to college and degree completion and creating pathways to quality workforce opportunities.

Christina Lee Knauss is a contributing writer for SC Biz News.

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