Who We Are

About Return Home Baltimore

Return Home Baltimore’s (RHB) provides inform­a­tion to return­ing cit­izens that will help them nav­ig­ate life out­side the walls.”

RHB was co-foun­ded by Dawna Cobb, an attor­ney who saw firsthand the bar­ri­ers return­ing cit­izens faced from her years of help­ing them nav­ig­ate life on the out­side. Wheth­er it involved get­ting a gov­ern­ment issued IDor find­ing fin­an­cial aid to con­tin­ue their edu­ca­tion, she quickly learned that return­ing cit­izens were largely on their own when try­ing to restart their lives.

When Dawna intro­duced her part­ner, Joseph Mey­er­hoff II, to some of the people she counseled he too was struck by the hurdles faced by return­ing cit­izens. Soon there­after they embarked on a year’s worth of inter­views and research to learn how they might in help return­ing cit­izens with the reentry pro­cess. They soon learned that good inform­a­tion was siloed and not in one eas­ily access­ible place. The solu­tion: this website. 

RHB recog­nizes the sys­tem­ic under­valu­ing of Black lives that leads to the dis­pro­por­tion­ate incar­cer­a­tion of Black men and women, and the pro­found racial dis­par­it­ies in oppor­tun­ity that exist in our soci­ety due to struc­tur­al racism. We acknow­ledge the his­tor­ic and ongo­ing role that struc­tur­al racism plays in cre­at­ing and per­petu­at­ing those dis­par­it­ies. We hope this web­site provides a meas­ure of help to those look­ing to return to and rebuild their lives.

Fear­less, a minor­ity-owned Bal­timore digit­al ser­vices firm with a mis­sion to build soft­ware with a soul — tools that empower com­munit­ies and make a dif­fer­ence,” designed and built this web­site. We thank Fear­less team lead­er Felix Gil­bert and his col­leagues for their patience and expert­ise over the year we spent design­ing the site. We also are indebted to Eliza­beth Morse Can­fil, ReEntry Spe­cial­ist, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Dis­trict of Mary­land and Terri Ricks, J.D., Com­munity Engage­ment Man­ager, the Mary­land Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety and Cor­rec­tion­al Ser­vices, for shar­ing their list of resources with us and giv­ing us feed­back on early ver­sions of the website.

Return Home Baltimore Advisory board

Et

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson is co-founder and Exec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or of PIVOT, a reentry pro­gram that breaks the cycle of incar­cer­a­tion for women and their fam­il­ies. The recip­i­ent of many awards, she has been recog­nized for her work bring­ing women togeth­er across racial and socio-eco­nom­ic divides to sup­port one anoth­er and bring about life-change and heal­ing through com­munity. Pri­or to co-found­ing PIVOT, Emily was the dir­ect­or of a women’s job read­i­ness pro­gram in Bal­timore City. She is sur­roun­ded by a stel­lar team and a net­work of women in reentry whose lived exper­i­ences are the driv­ing force behind the PIVOT program.

Joe Jones, Jr.

Joe Jones, Jr. is the Founder, Pres­id­ent and CEO of the Cen­ter for Urb­an Fam­il­ies (CFUF)a Bal­timore, Mary­land non­profit ser­vice organ­iz­a­tion estab­lished to empower low-income fam­il­ies by enhan­cing both the abil­ity of women and men to con­trib­ute to their fam­il­ies as wage earners and of men to ful­fill their roles as fath­ers. Mr. Jones is a nation­al lead­er in work­force devel­op­ment, fath­er­hood and fam­ily ser­vices pro­gram­ming, and through his pro­fes­sion­al and civic involve­ment influ­ences policy dir­ec­tion nationwide.

Mr. Jones’ civic engage­ments include ser­vice on the boards of the Open Soci­ety Insti­tute-Bal­timore, Bal­timore Work­force Devel­op­ment Board, and My Brother’s Keep­er- Bal­timore. Mr. Jones has received numer­ous awards and hon­ors for his lead­er­ship and pro­gram­ming includ­ing the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment Program’s Dis­tin­guished
Lead­er­ship Award, an hon­or­ary Doc­tor­ate in Pub­lic Ser­vice from Mor­gan State Uni­ver­sity, the Wal­ter Sond­heim Pub­lic Ser­vice Award, a 2013CNN Hero, and the White House Cham­pi­on of Change Award.

Jjones

Joe Jones, Jr.

Jhuffington

John Huff­ing­ton

John Huff­ing­ton

John Huff­ing­ton spent 32 years in the Mary­land pris­on sys­tem, 10 of which were on death row. Always main­tain­ing his inno­cence, he ulti­mately secured his release from pris­on in 2013 through a Writ of Actu­al Inno­cence after it was revealed that hair samples found at the scene of the crime were not Mr. Huffington’s.

Mr. Huff­ing­ton cur­rently serves as Dir­ect­or of Busi­ness Devel­op­ment for Kin­et­ic Cap­it­al, LLC., a private fin­an­cing firm spe­cial­iz­ing in small busi­ness fin­an­cing options and solu­tions. He is also Vice Pres­id­ent and COO of the Kin­et­ic Cap­it­al Com­munity Found­a­tion. He pre­vi­ously served as Dir­ect­or of Work­force Devel­op­ment for the Liv­ing Classrooms Foundation/​Job Train­ing efforts for the ReEntry Prog­arm, Pro­ject SERVE and the Tar­get Invest­ment Zone in East Bal­timore. He serves on sev­er­al boards of organ­iz­a­tions that serve the interests of return­ing cit­izens includ­ing Sharp Dressed Man, the Great­er Bal­timore Committee’s Coali­tion for a Second Chance, the Bal­timore City Police Depart­ment Col­lab­or­at­ive Re-Entry Advis­ory Board, among sev­er­al others.

Donte Small

Donte Small, Gouch­er Class of 18, is the first gradu­ate of Gouch­er Pris­on Edu­ca­tion Part­ner­ship (GPEP) pro­gram. Enrolled with Gouch­er Col­lege through GPEP, Mr. Small star­ted col­lege behind bars in the spring of 2012 and earned his degree on Goucher’s main cam­pus. GPEP is privately fun­ded pro­gram that gives incar­cer­ated men and women the oppor­tun­ity to pur­sue and obtain a bach­el­or’s degree while still in pris­on. Mr. Small holds a B.A in Com­puter Sci­ence with a minor in Soci­ology. He is act­ive in the Bal­timore com­munity and has partnered with GPEP and Pris­on-to-Pro­fes­sion­als (P2P) to change the pris­on reform polit­ic­al land­scape by advoc­at­ing, edu­cat­ing, and enga­ging in com­munity dis­cus­sions about rights for formerly incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als. Mr. Small often speaks pub­licly on issues of edu­ca­tion, crim­in­al justice, and felony dis­en­fran­chise­ment. He cur­rently works as a Tech­nic­al Sup­port Engin­eer at a tech­no­logy firm loc­ated in Hunt Val­ley, Maryland. 

Dsmall

Donte Small

Rrobinson

Ram­ieka Robinson-Peoples

Ram­ieka Robinson-Peoples

Ram­ieka Robin­son-Peoples-cur­rently serves as the Coordin­at­or, Plan­ning and Spe­cial Pro­jects with the Gouch­er Pris­on Edu­ca­tion Part­ner­ship (GPEP), a divi­sion of Gouch­er Col­lege, which provides stu­dents at two Mary­land state pris­ons with access and oppor­tun­ity to pur­sue an excel­lent col­lege education.

In her spare time, she proudly works in con­junc­tion with Out for Justice, Inc. (OFJ) led by indi­vidu­als affected by the crim­in­al justice sys­tem. OFJ’s primary mis­sion is to engage, empower, and edu­cate formerly incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als, fam­il­ies, friends and com­munity mem­bers about the sys­tems, policies, and prac­tices that cur­rently have an impact on our com­munit­ies, and vari­ous ways to nav­ig­ate the legis­lat­ive pro­cess for reform.

As a return­ing cit­izen who served 14 ½ years at the Mary­land Cor­rec­tion­al Insti­tu­tion for Women (MCIW), she pos­sess firsthand exper­i­ence regard­ing the obstacles many face when return­ing home and is whole­heartedly devoted to assist­ing oth­ers through her expert­ise and lived experience.

Melvin Wilson

Melvin Wilson cur­rently serves as Co-Dir­ect­or of Turn­around Tues­day, which pre­pares return­ing, unem­ployed and under-employed cit­izens to reenter the work­force and take an act­ive role in trans­form­ing their com­munit­ies. Mr. Wilson is a life-long res­id­ent of Bal­timore City. He spent 14 years with the Bal­timore City Police Depart­ment. Mr. Wilson also worked for Good­will Indus­tries of the Ches­apeake for 12 years in vari­ous pos­i­tions includ­ing Human Resource Gen­er­al­ist, Employ­ee Engage­ment Coordin­at­or and Assist­ant to the Pres­id­ent. Pri­or to assum­ing his cur­rent role as Turn­around Tues­day’s Co-Dir­ect­or, Mr. Wilson served as Chief Oper­at­ing Officer of Zion Baptist Church where he cur­rently serves on the Dea­con Board.

Mjohnson

Melvin Wilson

2020 05 31 1

Edward Rogers

Edward Rogers

Edward Rogers was born and raised in Bal­timore’s west­side Sandtown” area. He atten­ded Bal­timore city pub­lic schools and spent most of his sum­mers hanging out at Druid Hill Park, a loc­al park about a (30) minute walk from his home. While in the park he and his friends swam in the big pub­lic swim­ming pool and vis­ited the zoo. Ed describes his child­hood as one spent hav­ing lots of fun and adven­ture. As he got older Ed star­ted mak­ing choices and decisions that put him at odds with his fam­ily. He star­ted using drugs, stay­ing out past curfew, and doing poorly in school. Ed says that these were the main ingredi­ents that pushed him towards tru­ancy. Unfor­tu­nately, a suc­ces­sion of incid­ents res­ul­ted in sev­er­al juven­ile incar­cer­a­tions. He did not enter the adult sys­tem until age 25, at which time he was sen­tenced to 40 years for rob­bery with a deadly weapon. He did 21 and a half years of that sen­tence and was paroled back into soci­ety in 2012. After his release he spent a year work­ing tem­por­ary jobs and sav­ing as much money as he could. He learned about Turn­around Tues­day a pro­gram that helps return­ing cit­izens pre­pare for employ­ment. He now works at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Med­ic­al Cen­ter, owns a house that he and his wife share in Caton­s­ville, Mary­land. Ed knows first-hand the chal­lenges that return­ing cit­izens encounter upon release and he is ded­ic­ated to help­ing them succeed.