Building the capacity of the individual to earn a living wage, and for a parent to earn a family-supporting wage, so they can begin to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. ​​

EMERGE's Community Offender Re-Entry Experience (C.O.R.E.) is our transitional employment component and it is the flagship program that makes EMERGE unique among Connecticut nonprofits. Upon successful completion of the employment intervention process, participants are eligible to work up to six months, where they earn between $10 to $12 per hour, based on experience and performance. As the "enhanced" model is designed, participants are eligible to work up to 24 hours a week in a work crew environment and apply their existing and newly accquired skill sets under the supervision of a crew chief. The remaining 16 hours are allotted for other mandatory activities such as literacy classes, support and anger management groups, job search, meeting with EMERGE staff, and complying with conditions of state supervision such as court appearances and parole officer appointments.

EMERGE's literacy program uses an "open entry, open exit" approach meeting the program participant at whatever literacy and numeracy level they are at when they enroll, and uses computer-based curricula and tools, supplemented by classroom tutors to assist them as needed. At EMERGE, the mandatory literacy component requires participants to address their barriers regardless of having a high school diploma or not.

Real Talk is EMERGE's weekly peer-to-peer group meeting. Real Talk provides a forum for work crew members to openly discuss issues or concerns they face day-to-day throughout their re-entry that require support and guidance. Each week a different crew member selects a topic that is of particular importance to them, and they are asked to facilitate the discussion on that topic. Each individual crew member is then given an opportunity to offer real-life experience of how they may or may not relate to the topic. Group discussions help build a network of understanding and respect between each cohort of crew members and start a dialogue on personal issues that members can later address individually.

Through a partnership with the Fair Haven Communty Health Center, which is a member of the statewide Nurturing Families Network, EMERGE supports parents and children in New Haven with the goal of preventing child maltreatment by strengthening families through reunification, fatherhood outreach and group support. The aim of the parenting classes is to prevent future unplanned pregnancies and to get young dads involved in healthy relationships with their children, even if relations with the mother have soured. 

With the help of the Connecticut Women's Consortium, EMERGE staff has been trained to facilitate a six-week trauma-informed men's group called "Exploring Trauma: A Brief Intervention for Men". The group focuses on exploring the unresolved childhood traumas that play into behavior and attitudes as adults. Traumatic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) are high among many who have been incarcerated, and this group raises awareness and offers strategies to navigate the feelings and behaviors associated with many of these  issues. 
Sign Up for An Upcoming C.O.R.E. Orientation