INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Project Lia is an Indianapolis based nonprofit organization that helps women who have served time behind bars, transition back into the workforce.
Women involved are also helping the environment by finding discarded material around the city and re-purposing it into home decor.
For the past couple of years, Project Lia has sold the products online. Now the program is growing and the group has moved into a new space in the Circle City Industrial Complex.
There they will be able to make products in the back and sell them in a store in the front.
Project Lia goes beyond employment, it also provides educational opportunities.
It also helps create positive relationships within the community through partnerships with other organizations and volunteers.
The group’s executive director Liz Wallin said community acceptance is key because it helps increase women’s confidence and decrease societal stigmas.
Wallin believes that combination will help keep these women on the right path so they don’t end up back in jail.
“Realizing that some people have ended up in the criminal justice system because of lack of community support prior to the situation they were in. So, if we can provide that at any point of the story, how does that change a pathway for somebody?” said Wallin.
Women are encouraged to be Project Lia employees for at least a year while they explore other employment opportunities. However, if that process takes longer, they are welcome to continue working for the organization as long as they need it.
You can see and buy products and also learn about volunteer opportunities here.