TEEM’s case managers help our participants overcome the barriers holding them from finding and keeping employment. We work to set our participants on an individual path to self-sufficiency and to help them achieve their goals. To make the re-entry process successful and smooth, we help our participants secure transportation, identification, housing, appropriate clothing and any other needs. Through direct action and referrals to other community resources, we systematically eliminate the potential barriers our participants face. Our case managers act as the catalyst in helping individuals find and practically prepare for meaningful employment.
Our participants are also paired with a one-on-one mentor six months before their release date to provide support, stability and friendship as they prepare for to transition back into the community. TEEM mentors walk alongside our participants as they take steps to ensure a successful re-entry into society. In organizations like TEEM, individuals who are paired with a mentor are twice as likely to find and maintain gainful employment. Because many of our participants lack healthy role models and adequate support, mentors play a vital role in helping achieve success in the workplace and in personal life.
For many incarcerated individuals, charges and fines only multiply following conviction. Once offenders are released from prison, corrections fines and family law matters make the reentry process more difficult. TEEM houses an attorney through Legal Aid to help participants with these and other issues.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma provides legal assistance, including expungements, reinstatement of driver's licenses, and family law matters to TEEM participants. In 2014, Legal Aid placed a full-time attorney in-house at TEEM to better meet the needs of our participants. This service provides a great asset to participants as they work towards becoming contributing community members.