Where We Started

There are many communities across the United States and in 6 other countries that use the underlying constructs of this model to help stabilize the lives of those in poverty and near poverty. These communities, called “Bridges Communities,” are based on the concepts found in the books Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World—and based on the solutions created by those who embedded the concepts in their organizations and communities. Former offenders in these communities already benefit from attending Getting Ahead (also known as GA) workgroups and from the support they receive from Bridges Collaboratives.

Bridges Communities provide comprehensive, “above-the-silos” support that engages sectors of the community that include employers, courts, early-childhood centers, schools, postsecondary institutions, healthcare and mental health facilities, substance abuse programs, social services, and others. Many of these collaboratives are ready and willing to expand their work to support returning citizens. These opportunities led to the determination to offer a complete reentry model for returning citizens and not just a pre-release workbook.

Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World, on which Getting Ahead while Getting Out is based, was first published in 2004, with revisions in 2006 and 2013. The Getting Ahead approach has been used successfully in corrections facilities in Indiana, Louisiana, Colorado, Ohio, and Maryland, encouraging us to produce a book that was specific to the problems of reentry.

The Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model offers a common language for analyzing and acting on economic and community realities.