November 14, 2023

What's New at The First 72+? Fall 2023 Newsletter

What's New at The First 72+? Fall 2023 Newsletter

What's New at The First 72+?

The First 72+ has undergone many exciting developments since the beginning of September! In just two months, we hosted the grand opening of the Ben Smith Welcome Home Center, ushered in our new Executive Director Troy Glover, and welcomed over 90 new clients through our doors.

Through all the action, our mission remains constant. We do this for us. We know all too well that when one of us struggles, we all struggle. That’s why we do everything we can to help people get free and stay free.

Our wraparound services are intentionally designed to address the root causes of recidivism. We help our clients access transitional housing, jobs, benefits, financial assistance, peer support – because we know that all of these services make a difference. Through our work, we uplift individuals, confront stigma around the challenges of reentry, and strengthen our community in greater New Orleans.

Please join us: Continue reading to learn about our programs and see how you can support our work.

Season of Giving

Help us fill this holiday season with gratitude and warmth! We are accepting donations to:

Provide turkeys for households in need

Provide toys for families of incarcerated individuals

Furnish our transitional house and welcome more men home for the holidays


Ben Smith Welcome Home Center Opening Ceremony

On September 18th, 2023, we hosted our opening ceremony for the Ben Smith Welcome Home Center at 2901/2903 Perdido St. We were thrilled to have so many familiar faces in attendance, including friends, advocates, and clients. We deeply appreciate how many folks from different facets of our community support us as we continue our work.

This new multi-use facility sleeps 8 men, hosts our weekly 9 Steps to Staying Free group, and will be the home of our upcoming Culinary and Technology classes! In October, the Welcome Home Center’s first inhabitants began to move in. We can't wait to see how this initiative continues to grow.

As men arrive at the transitional house, we provide a “Welcome Home Package” with initial supplies. We always appreciate donations of toiletries, nonperishable food, clothes, towels, and linens. Drop off a donation at our office to help us welcome them home for the holidays! 

The Fountain Fund

Financial struggles are one of the most common barriers to reentry. The Fountain Fund, coordinated by our Economic Empowerment Manager Meagan Jordan, provides low-interest loans and coaching to increase clients economic mobility. Through our program, folks can access funding for small businesses, building credit, and emergency circumstances. Contact with inquiries or click here for more information.

Pre-Release Wins

Our pre-release team advocates for incarcerated clients at their parole board hearings as part of our process to get people free. Two clients were recently granted parole through the 20/45 law under Act 122. This measure allows people to apply for parole if they are above the age of 45 and have served 20+ years of a 30+ year sentence.

Click here if you would like to refer someone coming up for parole, or to learn more about our program. The First 72+ is dedicated to the fight to bring our folks home!

New Faces at The First 72+

Please join us in welcoming Troy Glover, our new Executive Director! As ED, Troy has made his mission and his gifts clear. Troy brings extensive experience in reentry work and is a proud and dedicated New Orleans resident, serving on countless committees to better our city. When asked about his time at First 72+ thus far, Troy said: “It’s been incredible to be a part of an organization that truly embodies the saying ‘Us Helping Us’ through its leadership, current programming and new initiatives that we’re looking forward to you all being a part of.” We are delighted to grow under Troy’s leadership!

Courtney Evans joined us this October as our new Director of Client Services. Courtney works to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality services. She oversees the transitional housing program, works closely with the reentry coaches, and serves as a resource for "all things client-facing". She draws on years of experience in nonprofit work at CEO Works and CADA Prevention and Recovery Center. Welcome, Courtney!

The First 72+ has partnered with Avodah’s Jewish Service Corps since 2018, and this year’s Corps Members do not disappoint! Liana Heath (left) and Mia Lowy (right) began their service year in September and will be working with us until August 2024. Liana keeps things organized as our Office Manager, while Mia runs the Public Benefits Clinic as our Programs Administrator. Liana and Mia both bring passion and enthusiasm to their roles and look forward to a meaningful year of service!


We joined Voice Of The Experienced (VOTE) for an energizing protest to oppose the Phase III expansion of the jail. The Phase III expansion would put $110 million towards building a facility to detain folks with severe mental health issues, rather than investing in programs that would benefit their health. Sign here to oppose the expansion.

First 72+ team members joined NOLA to Angola, a 170-mile, 3-day bike ride from New Orleans to Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary. The ride chronicles the journey that families take to visit incarcerated loved ones. Chloe Dinman, our Policy Advocate and Executive Support, was one of the organizers and riders this year! Several other First 72+ers were involved: Mia Lowy (Avodah '23), Ezra Oliff-Lieberman (Avodah ‘18), and Juliana Matz (Avodah ‘19).

We are delighted to partner with the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana (REMILA), an organization that facilitates conversations to rebuild supportive relationships between incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. Karron Williams, REMILA’s Executive Director, led a 9 Steps to Staying Free class about healing from trauma. We were all blown away by Karron’s skills and eagerly invited her back for more!

Pastor Tyrone Smith got a chance to grab a picture with former Councilman James Carter of District C when he came to drop off a donation. We are so appreciative of our community partners that extend our reach to serve as many clients as possible.

Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible. 

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The First 72+

2915 Perdido St, New Orleans, LA 70119

(504)324-8859 |