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A Letter From Paul Solomon

Summer 2022

Dear Friends,

Since I began my career at Sponsors nearly 21 years ago, the one constant in our work has been change. During the past few years, we have experienced remarkable change at an unprecedented pace. The pandemic forced us to implement a myriad of changes and to create processes and protocols to ensure the health and safety of our participants and staff while striving to continue delivering the high standard of service we have come to expect and pride ourselves upon. We succeeded in that work, and your ongoing support helped us to stay the course despite challenges at every step. We remain strong. Stronger, in some ways, than we’ve ever been. Sometimes there are silver linings.

Along the way, we have continued our journey to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the organization. We have made significant strides in our efforts to develop policies and protocols that address historical inequities within the organization, foster diversity in all realms of our work, and enhance inclusivity among our staff, board and greater community. Our staff and board of directors have embraced these processes. As an organization that serves marginalized individuals, it is important that we lead on issues of racial and social justice. We can and must do better by the people we serve who carry the scars and trauma from institutional oppressions that foster misogyny, racism, sexism, transphobia, and homophobia. We also must acknowledge and address our own role in fostering inequities, white centeredness, and institutional racism. As an organization, we are committed to dismantling systems of oppression and providing a safe and welcoming environment for all people. It’s a long journey that we have embarked upon and one that will never be concluded. We are committed to the course.

Nearly all of our programs have experienced growth and change as well. In our “Transitions Program,” which provides transitional housing and behavioral health services, we have restructured to more effectively address the 24/7 needs of our program participants. Mentorship has recently added new life skills curriculum that extends the focus and relationship between mentors and mentees, and our Reentry Resource Center is offering a cadre of new workshops and services to individuals seeking housing and employment. Our work is never static. We are constantly evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of our programming and services. And we are ever responsive to the people before us, who remind us of the importance and necessity of our work, each and every day.

I announced in May that I will be stepping down from my role as Executive Director (ED). It has been the greatest privilege to lead this organization and be a part of developing a national model for reentry. After more than two decades with Sponsors, I am ready to make way for new leadership and explore other opportunities as I inch closer to retirement. I couldn’t be more excited about the current leadership in the organization and what the future holds for the next director. Sponsors’ board of directors has engaged in a rigorous nation-wide search to find the next ED. They are currently in the recruitment phase and, if all goes well, they hope to welcome on the next ED in the coming months. I am committed to staying to on-board the new ED and will transition to a Senior Advisor role to work on a few projects. We look forward to sharing more information about the hiring and transition process as we move forward.

Warm regards,

Paul Solomon