In her “She, The People” profile for Essence magazine, Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life (ANWOL), speaks about how her personal experience with the criminal justice system informed her creation of a nonprofit that is dedicated to aiding women, families and communities
The primary objective at ANWOL is to provide housing to women as they return to society from incarceration. Alongside housing, the nonprofit also provides a variety of legal, family reunification, employment, civic engagement and therapeutic services. Its most recent endeavor is the SAFE Housing Network, which will use ANWOL’s promoting reentry grant from the Art for Justice Fund to create a series of homes throughout the United States that will provide women returning home with much-needed support and services.
“I believe that if women have a place to go to, that they will be able to make better lives for themselves and better lives for their children. I’m not talking about a handout. I’m talking about a hand up – to help women stand and be a better and greater part of their community, of their children’s lives and build a future. With the Art for Justice money, I’ve created the training. One of the first homes is being developed as we speak in Champagne, Illinois,” Burton said.
Burton has also expanded her work outside the United States with a trip in January 2019 to visit Ugandan prisons and schools that house children with mothers who are incarcerated. She plans to continue investing in programs here at home that aid in community safety by providing necessary resources so people can lead lives that are healthy and full of potential.