Re-entry initiative graphic

The Open Door, a local non-profit dedicated to mentoring and re-entry services for previously incarcerated women in Southwest Louisiana, is hosting a grand re-opening celebration 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday at its new location, 3007 Enterprise Blvd. Suite 2B. Community partners, volunteers and interested donors are invited to attend and learn more about the agency's services, which will soon expand to include emergency transitional housing.

The Open Door works with incarcerated women to provide parenting and life-skills classes, Bible studies and mentoring. Once women are released, they visit the office to continue the services.

But board secretary Kammy Didier said there are very limited resources available to previously incarcerated women in regards to shelter.

"Our ladies don't have housing," Didier said. "Our men have programs. But women, they are in need. We're looking at expansion and public awareness."

Women are often released from jail with no driver's license, transportation or cell phone. The lack of these resources combined with limited shelter options lead to high rates of recidivism with 60 percent of women returning to jail, Didier said.

"If they do not have a support system when they're incarcerated, then when they're released, they have no options. They end up going right back where they were," she said.

Thursday will be an opportunity for all community stakeholders to gather and discuss new ways to solve this community issues, she said. Former Mayor Randy Roach and state Sen.-elect Mark Abraham will serve as guest speakers.

Lunch will provided and the celebration is free and open to the public. RSVP via Facebook,

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