VANTAGE Aging Initiates Partnership to Prepare Older Inmates for Reentry

Akron, OH (April 25, 2021) – April 25 through May 1, 2021 is National Reentry Week and designed to raise awareness of the importance of successful reentry.  As part of A Proclamation on Second Chance Month 2021, the Biden Administration is clear on its goals for formerly incarcerated individuals: “We must remove [reentry] barriers. Every person leaving incarceration should have housing, the opportunity at a decent job, and health care. A person’s conviction history should not unfairly exclude them from employment, occupational licenses, access to credit, public benefits, or the right to vote. Certain criminal records should be expunged and sealed so people can overcome their past.” 

The Proclamation is further supported by the reauthorization of the Older American Act (OAA) by Congress where returned citizens have been identified as a priority population. VANTAGE’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) has been responsive to the unique challenges faced by restored citizens.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program is a paid work-based job training program for older Americans. Participants work an average of 20 hours a week and are paid the minimum wage. Participants must be at least 55, unemployed, and have a family income of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level. 

Vantage and its state partners have developed a pilot project partnership with Grafton Corrections’ Reintegration Center that has led to a larger collaboration with the Ohio Department of Aging, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and the Ohio Rehabilitation and Corrections Department to expand SCSEP into One Stop Centers located in correctional facilities. 

Incarcerated SCSEP participants earn wages during their assignment, allowing them savings to support their transition back to the community.  The restored citizen will also have a continuous relationship with VANTAGE SCSEP upon release in one of Vantage Aging’s service area communities. 

“We champion National Reentry Week as an opportunity to bring more visibility to the challenges restored citizens face when reconnecting and reintegrating into their communities,” said SCSEP Director Kate Harkin. “Ohio’s commitment to serving the needs of restored citizens can be seen in our innovative partnership with the Office on Aging, the Department of Job and Family Services, and ODRC.  Together we aim to equip  restored citizens with the tools they need to succeed when transitioning back into their communities.”

For more information, contact Kate Harkin at 614-886-9084.

About VANTAGE Aging

VANTAGE Aging provides high-quality programs to empower the economic, social, physical, and mental well-being of adults as they age. Non-medical in-home care is provided by Home Wellness Solutions. Job training for low-income adults age 55 and older is offered through the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Evidenced-based volunteering to meet local and national needs is provided by RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers. Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides home-delivered and congregate meals to provide nutritional support to the homebound and disabled. Behavioral health services administered by the Blick Center. Overall, VANTAGE’s programs come together to offer a path for positive aging. Founded in 1975 as a senior citizen program, VANTAGE has since become an independent, nationally respected organization with offices throughout the state. For more information, call 330-253-4597 or visit


Amina Hall

Director of Community Engagement

The Senior Community Service Employment Program of VANTAGE Aging

330-253-4597 x160

Share this blog article