The Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development engages the greater Madison area community to empower African American individuals, families and communities to bring about hope, transformation and justice.

The Need

Each year 500-700 ex-offenders leave prison and return to Dane County. Hundreds more complete their jail sentences and return to our community. The majority of these ex-offenders are men and of those a large percentage are African American. These offenders are at high risk of becoming homeless – and that increases their risk of failing at reentry and being returned to jail or prison. While housing is an immediate need upon release, it is not the only need. Ex-offenders need help in finding family supporting wage jobs, maintaining their sobriety and in building self-respect and healthy relationships.

Reentry Services

Nehemiah provides a wide array of culturally competent and relevant services to meet the needs of men who are leaving jail or prison. Our emergency and transitional housing promotes successful reentry through preventing homelessness. Our reentry and recovery coaching increases the likelihood that ex-offenders can successfully transition back into our community.

  • We are African American role models – individuals who are ex-offenders who have conquered the challenges of transitioning back to our community.
  • We provide safe, sober living environments for ex-offenders
  • We advocate for ex-offenders to increase their chances of success
  • We assist with job placements with businesses throughout Dane County
  • We provide reentry and recovery coaching/mentoring that addresses issues of trauma, healthy relationships, anger management, fatherhood training and leadership development through our Man Up program. 

2015 Reentry Impact

  • 200 men have participated in our Man UP mentoring and coaching program
  • 172 men have been provided emergency or transitional housing
  • 20 men have been helped through our direct advocacy, primarily in the courts
  • 85 men have been placed with local businesses in jobs

Reentry Vision

2016 looks to be an exciting year for Nehemiah’s Reentry program! During 2016 we will be working to (a) add three additional housing units, (b) add several part-time reentry housing staff, (c) add three additional Man Up groups, (d) implement a new curriculum for Man Up and (e) add a part-time reentry employment specialist.

Reentry Leadership

Anthony Cooper Sr. is Director of Reentry Services. Anthony brings over 10 years of job development and mentoring to this role and he uses his life experience to ensure ex-offenders successfully return to our community and re-acclimate to society.