It’s a two-hour long gathering every Tuesday evening in a comfortable centrally located space provided by Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust. The unlikely brotherhood and sisterhood of ex-offenders, legal and community leaders grows stronger each week when they all come together for a meal and group conversation. The environment is always welcoming and an informal forum for discussion. These free-flowing discussions run the gamut, covering topics from politics, race relations, economics, cultural diversity, and bucket lists to the history of music to ways to conduct oneself during an encounter with the police.
"I have worked in mental health for many years and have never experienced a better more effective program for gaining trust and respect, I will be using this format from now on when I council clients."
Nanette Ford, Certified Clinician, Liberation Programs Inc
Our goal is to enlighten, educate, de-conflict, and problem solve through discussion. We seek to provide specific ex-offenders, group and gang members diagnosed (and/or yet to be diagnosed) with Post and Present Traumatic Stress, options in mental health treatment. We provide assistance with social service navigation and serve as a sanctuary for its participants, offering a respectful, safe, and empowering atmosphere to share insight on day to day issues. Our long term effort is to reduce the level of violence in the community and recidivism among returning citizens through empowerment, community engagement, and building connections.
In December 2014, Charlie Grady created and launched a grassroots effort to foster community and give voice to men and women (ex-offenders/returning citizens)who have been silent—or unheard—for far too long. The targeted group are those involved with gang/group violence and those that inherently suffer from Post-Traumatic & Present Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from urban gun violence. To jump start the effort, he formed a small cadre comprised of ex-offenders, a federal prosecutor, a local police officer, and social service workers to brainstorm on a format that would be successful. What resulted is now known as Hang Time™.