Who We Are
About Return Home Baltimore
Return Home Baltimore (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 ID or 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 husband, 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. We thank our advisory board members, listed below, for their ongoing advice and support.
Return Home Baltimore Advisory board
Emily Thompson is co-founder 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. Emily current serves as Grants and Finance Manager for PIVOT.
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.
Joe Jones, Jr.
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, 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.
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 possesses 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 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.
Veronica Jackson is the new executive director of Baltimore’s PIVOT program. An eight week women’s re- entry workforce development program. Its core value aims to help women who are justice impacted, reclaim and rebuild their lives. Veronica is a Baltimore native committed to the enhancement, exposure and expansion of Baltimore communities and families. She is tremendously dedicated to the community and dismantling all negative stigma associated with Baltimore. She believes that Baltimore is a beautiful, unique place filled with amazing people. Veronica is convinced that the key to a strong community are abolishing systemic foundations, transparent communication, implementing grassroot community lifestyles. Experienced in working with families and members of the community in various sectors of Baltimore. Her career exposure includes years as a Correctional Officer in Baltimore City Central Booking (WDC), The Judith P Hoyer Family and Early Learning Center Baltimore City Public Schools, Changing Lives at Home, Inc as well as Women Accepting Responsibility (WAR). These career experiences have established her knowledge, resources, and leadership skills. This aids her in assisting women returning successfully to society. She is confident that every woman in Baltimore City has the opportunity to build and/or rebuild and craft the life she desires.