December 15, 2023

Home for the holidays after incarceration

Home for the holidays after incarceration

To Our First 72+ Community,

Season's greetings! As the year comes to a close, The First 72+ reflects on the journey we’ve taken together this year. We’ve seen hundreds of clients come through our doors, welcomed new staff and leadership, and celebrated the opening of the Ben Smith Welcome Home Center alongside beloved community members.

We’re filled with gratitude for every volunteer, donor, and supporter who has played a vital role in our mission. Thank you for your ongoing willingness to engage with our cause and uplift hundreds of formerly incarcerated people in Louisiana each year. 

Continue reading to see our impact in 2023 and to see how residents of our transitional house are spending their first holiday season at home after incarceration!

Wishing you joy, peace, and blessings this holiday season.


The First 72+ Team

Home for the Holidays: Delvin Jones

This holiday season, nine transitional housing residents at The First 72+ are celebrating their first holiday season at home after incarceration. One of our newest residents, Delvin Jones, moved into our transitional home just three days before Thanksgiving. 

Like many people returning from incarceration in Louisiana, Delvin was released in the middle of the night with nowhere to go. With shelters closed and no relatives able to take him in, Delvin spent his first two days unhoused before he heard about our services and showed up at our office. Thanks to our new capacity at the Ben Smith Welcome Home Center, we were able to welcome Delvin to move in on the very same day. 

While Delvin was thankful to have a warm bed and a shower, he was especially excited to have access to a kitchen. Delvin earned a culinary degree while he was incarcerated and was eager to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner. Delvin created a holiday meal to share with the other residents, immediately making his new transitional house feel like a home. 

Over 1,400 people in Louisiana will return to their communities this December, many with no place to call home and little more than the clothes on their back. This holiday season, help Delvin and others rebuilding their lives create a bright new future for themselves and our community. Ring in 2024 by supporting the First 72+ to welcome Delvin and our Ben Smith Welcome Home Center residents Home for the Holidays!