Every year, more than 700 people “come home” to Lane County from jail or a state prison. Many of these people are rebuilding their lives from the ground up, including starting a new job, settling into new routines and making new friends.
One of the best things that can happen to them is to have a friend or confidant to help with simple things, like going fishing or to a ball game; a friend, a mentor who can listen without judgment.
It’s surprising how much having a regular mentor can help someone stay on the path to success. All you have to do as a mentor are the things that you already like to do. We’ll pair you up with someone who has similar interests, such as fishing, hiking, church, or recovery. If you have one hour a week to spare, you can experience the satisfaction of being there with someone when they need it most. See below for requirements for becoming a mentor.
What kind of activities can I do with my mentee?
Each match gets $100 to do whatever activities are their favorites. It can be used to buy fishing licenses, woodworking supplies, coffees, movie tickets, or a nice dinner! The Mentorship Program also plans monthly trips and offers free tickets to a variety of events. Read Jonathan Blanco’s firsthand account of a recent fishing trip here!
What are the requirements to be a mentor?
Men over 21 and women over 25 can be a mentor. Those with criminal histories are welcome to apply and must have at least two years of sobriety without police contact. We seek mentors who are consistent, persistent, and dependable. Becoming a mentor requires:
- Completing the application process, which includes attending a new mentor orientation training
- Being able to offer caring and compassionate support to people who have been recently incarcerated
- Being available to get together with your mentee a minimum of four to six hours each month. If you want to talk with someone about whether being a mentor is right for you, please call Jen Jackson at 541-505-5663, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If interested, please fill out our initial contact form and we will follow up with you. If you still have questions, see below for more information on being a mentor.
- What support will I receive as a mentor?We host monthly mentor support groups and potlucks on the last Wednesday of every month from 6-8 pm. Topics may include trauma and criminality, parole and probation, drug and alcohol treatment, or child welfare. Mentors also receive one-on-one staff support to help the match succeed.
Current Mentor Resources:
Mentor reimbursement request form (downloadable pdf)
Mentorship Program staff: Jen Jackson, Kristie Mamac, Kenji Hammon, James Hare,
Tree Myers, Brett Yater, Andrew Provencher, Candace Renville