PHOENIX Honors Donors

Josh Cook Tells His StoryJosh Cook Tells His StoryOn Thursday, November 6th, PHOENIX members old and new gathered to honor our donors at MercyCorps Art Gallery. The setting was beautiful. We had food, live music and lots of conversation. Doug Cooper, Mary Nemmers and Cessa Karson-Whitethorn told stories of their involvement in PHOENIX. Danny Ryel and Josh Cook told how participation in PHOENIX benefitted them. And Ali Ippolito sang a soulful song she had written. Donors and all guests at the event received a booklet of stories, artwork and poetry that was created by men in PHOENIX.

About PHOENIX Rising Transitions

PHOENIX Rising Transitions is a nonprofit organization in the Portland (Oregon) metropolitan area. We work in prisons and the community partnering with those who are incarcerated to make a smooth and successful transition into the community as they are released. Our goal is to transform lives and reduce the likelihood that people will commit new crimes and return to prison. We do this through skill-building and relationship-building, both before and after release from prison.We also aim to transform the community in order to make successful transition more attainable. We do this through community organizing action.

We know that building relationships between those who are incarcerated and members of the community is paramount to successful prison-to-community transition. And new ways of thinking — communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills — are essential to deal with the stresses of returning to community life. 

  • Community In-Reach Projects — Volunteers go into the prison to participate in trainings and classes to teach and learn alongside incarcerated students. The relationships that are fostered are the basis of mentor relationships that continue in the community. Classes offered are Relational Culture Strategies (leadership development) and Life Skills.
  • In-the-Community Projects — Community organizing-style leadership training and Nonviolent Communication classes continue in the community. The Mentor Project matches a community volunteer, an ex-convict Cultural Advisor and the mentee for one year. The Core Team develops actions in the community to eliminate obstacles to successful transition.
  • PHOENIX Transition House - This is available to men coming out of prison. Located in Gresham, Oregon, it is a "clean and sober" (drug and alcohol free) environment. Preference is given to those who have been in PHOENIX projects while in prison, but open to others as well. All residents participate in our Mentor Project. PHOENIX plans to open additional transition houses, including a women's house, soon. 

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