... Our Vision ...
Power Inside seeks safety, dignity and justice for women and families in Baltimore. Social change that ends gender-based violence and all forms of oppression is necessary to make our vision a reality.
... Our Mission ...
Power Inside is a human rights and harm reduction organization that serves women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence and oppression. We serve women impacted by incarceration, street life and abuse. We offer direct services, advocacy, leadership development and public education to help women build self-sufficiency, heal from violence, and avoid future criminal justice contact.
We rely on support from foundations, government, individuals, volunteers and members to serve over 300 women and their families per year. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to Power Inside.
... Our History ...
Power Inside was founded in May 2001 by Jacqueline Robarge as an all-volunteer program offering women's empowerment groups in the Baltimore City Detention Center. In 2003, Fusion Partnerships, Inc. a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, became Power Inside’s fiscal sponsor and biggest ally.
In 2004, a street outreach component was added after we established a strong link between women's experience of street homelessness and detention in jail, as well as homelessness and trading sex. Power Inside became the first harm reduction street outreach program funded by the then Mayor's Office of Homeless Services to reach women caught in the cycle of jail & homelessness. In 2005, we conducted the first needs assessment of women in the Baltimore City Detention Center, Release from jail: Moment of crisis or window of opportunity for female detainees? was published in the Journal of Urban Health in 2006. For the first time, the community had data to back our claims of the overwhelming needs of women cycling through Baltimore's jail. In 2008, we collaborated with multiple agencies to produce a follow-up study on men detained at the Baltimore City Detention Center. The 2010 report, Adjusting the lens: A window into the needs of men in jail by Choice Research Associates shows that, like women, men face multiple barriers to a decent quality of life once they return to the community. In recent years our advocacy has advanced the policy goals of women impacted by structural racism, poverty, and human rights abuses.
We conduct research, public education and advocacy to expand community-wide access to health and treatment services, but our frontline work is at the heart of who we are. Our integrated trauma informed, harm reduction, and peer based model has been developed and honed since our founding. We now five committed staff members and thousands of women, past and present, who are part of the Power Inside family and make our story so rich and powerful.
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