Detroit Nonprofit Uses Grant Dollars to Provide Resources for Returning Citizens

“This money will really help – I have so many ideas of things I want to do,” said E.B.
Jordan, a Detroit resident and founder of S&D PJ Housing, which provides transitional
housing and support services for women after exiting the criminal justice system.
S&D PJ Housing was recently named among the second cohort of Detroit Residents
First Fund (DRFF) grant recipients. The historic Fund – the first of its kind in Detroit –
prioritizes support for Detroit-based grassroots nonprofit organizations whose leaders
are Black, indigenous or other persons of color working to transform Detroit’s
neighborhoods with the least access to power and social capital.
S&D PJ Housing was created to provide appropriate support services for women up to
24 months who are transitioning out of prison and/or in the tether program. This
transition will help them be more self-sufficient to move towards independent living.
“Formerly incarcerated people face homeless within the first year of release, but people
who receive supportive programs, housing, education, counseling​, and job training were
found to be 61 percent less likely to be re-incarcerated within one year,” Jordan said.
The organization aims to help fight against homelessness and “the prison revolving
Jordan said she was inspired by her own life experiences to form S&D PJ Housing.
“I’m a formerly incarcerated female and when I got out there were no programs or
housing for me,” she said. “They have a lot of halfway houses for men, but for women,
they have less available or we can’t get a bed. If we get parole and we give an address
we want to go to and if they don’t like the place, we have to sit and wait for a bed to
open. You need a certain type of facility. But you want a place where you can feel safe.”
S&D PJ Housing steps in to help with the entire transition.
“You can stay for 24 months and get time to get on your feet and collect money and
move to where you want to be,” Jordan explained. “It’s not ‘hurry up and get out.’ We
welcome them home, and provide them with soap, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste,
shampoo, conditioner, hand and body towels, and gift cards so they can shop.”
The organization also assists those in her charge with finding a job, getting registered to
vote, acquiring a laptop computer, expanding their financial literacy and basic business
S&D PJ Housing plans to use the DRFF grant dollars to provide CompTIA IT
certifications (an entry-level and continuing education certification for IT professionals)
and voter education for returning citizens as part of its larger vision of bringing healing
and restoring peace to the communities they once brought harm.

“I was 100 percent shocked,” Jordan said of learning her organization was selected
among the grant recipients. “This is a very important thing.”
The Fund’s second cohort will receive a total of $1,110,000 in funding distributed among
the seven organizations over three years, as well as access to a wealth of other
resources. Officially launched in 2021, the Fund is supported by Wayne Metropolitan
Community Action Agency, the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Community
Development Advocates of Detroit, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation,
McGregor Fund, and Skillman Foundation.
The DRFF is one of few partnerships to exist in the state of Michigan using an
innovative framework of participatory grantmaking, where foundations, nonprofits and
community leaders have created a formal structure and process for sharing decision-
making power.

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