MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) — “The Open Door” is a non-profit organization that has helped thousands of former inmates released from jail over the last nine years.
“A lot of them get stuck for so long, especially the ones that have been in prison for a long time,” Executive Director Anne Drow said. “They were told what to do, when to do it, what they’re going to eat, where they’re going to sleep, and everything was decided for them.”
Last year the organization helped over 2,000 people, with over 7,000 visits.
“The national rate for recidivism, which means going back into prison or incarceration, within two years is 72 percent,” Drow stated. “The state average is 55 percent. Our average is 31 percent.”
However, “The Open Door” is now in desperate need of volunteers to continue to serve the public. Drow mentioned that with very few volunteers right now, it’s impossible for her to take on multiple roles within the organization.
When it comes to the importance of “The Open Door” and having an adequate amount of volunteers, former inmate turned volunteer Christina Nutter said without the programs and the resources offered there, she most likely would’ve ended up back in jail.
“With my incarceration, not knowing where to go, where to get help or anything like that was hard,” Nutter said. “”The Open Door” helped with finding a place, finding a job, and getting everything that was needed upon release. That was like the biggest step of them all.”
If you would like to volunteer, you can contact “The Open Door” at (715) 848-4044.