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  • Anna Zefferys

Reducing Recidivism and Building Thriving Communities: The Fountain Fund Film Premiere

The Fountain Fund's recent film premiere was a huge success, with nearly 350 attendees gathering at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, Virginia to hear the inspiring story of this incredible organization and the voices of other community leaders from around the U.S. The film showcased the work of the Fountain Fund, a non-profit that provides low-interest micro-loans and financial coaching to formerly incarcerated individuals, helping them overcome the economic obstacles that often arise after incarceration.


Fueling Fresh Starts: The Fountain Fund Film



The premiere was a powerful testament to the impact of community gatherings and the vital work of the Fountain Fund in reducing recidivism rates in the community. As Danita Green, a board member of the Fountain Fund, so eloquently put it, "We held hands in the sandbox" and worked together to support dreams of inclusion, acceptance, and belonging. Our collective efforts "fortify" the communities and individuals we serve, ensuring that they can build "bigger, better castles" that no one can knock down.


The two-day event in Charlottesville was held as a Fountain Fund / Thriving Communities Gathering. Two advisors to Thriving Communities were directly involved. Gus Newport the former Mayor of Berkeley, CA, and initial executive director of Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, was invited to speak at two sessions discussing reparations and social justice. His background and understanding of the issues lent provocative and powerful insight into the everpresent challenges. Over 30 people attended from various vocations and organizations. Anne Jess served as the graphic interpreter for one of the sessions which helpfully communicated the activities of the day to all many who attended the Thursday evening premiere.


The Fountain Fund's approach is unique, offering guidance and support to help individuals achieve their self-determined goals, including building credit, improving financial literacy, and addressing employment barriers. Through this work, the organization promotes economic opportunity and reduces the likelihood of reincarceration, benefiting individuals, families, and entire communities.


The event highlighted the remarkable success of the Fountain Fund's work, with over 350 low-interest microloans totaling more than $1.5 million extended to 300 formerly incarcerated people in Central Virginia since the organization's inception in 2017. Today, 80% of these loans are in good standing, and $750,000 in loan capital has been recycled (based on the latest data as of this posting). The impact of the Fountain Fund goes beyond just financial support, as the organization provides individualized mentorship to help its clients address the root causes of their financial challenges.


The Fountain Fund's work is having a transformative impact on individuals' lives and communities as a whole. The organization is helping people avoid the devastating consequences of mounting debt, such as loss of employment and housing, which can often lead to re-incarceration. Through their work, they are promoting economic opportunity and reducing the likelihood of reincarceration, benefiting individuals, families, and entire communities. But they can't do it all alone and have formed successful relationships with other organizations to provide a holistic approach to supporting their clients. Partner organizations help in other crucial areas such as job placement, mental health counseling, and auto purchases. It takes an entire community to build a beloved community.


The Fountain Fund's film premiere was a powerful reminder of the organization's impact on reducing recidivism rates in the community. Through their unique approach of providing financial support and mentorship to address the root causes of financial challenges, the Fountain Fund is making a real difference in the lives of those they serve. Their work promotes economic opportunity and helps to break the cycle of reincarceration, benefiting individuals, families, and entire communities.


Learn more about the Fountain Fund.

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