Mission
Project COPE provides community re-entry support for selected ex-offenders through 
faith-based team partnerships and transitional housing.
Our Goals:
To assist released prisoners in meeting their own goals of reintegrating into society by 
gaining meaningful work, rebuilding family relationships, making new  friends and
growing in compassionate self-knowledge.
To assist members of faith communities in meeting and working with people whose 
life experiences are very different from their own; and in learning from these  men 
and women, as well as helping them.
A History of Project COPE
In 1983, Volunteers in Probation and Parole (VIPP)–an auxiliary organization of the 
Department of Corrections–decided that the resources of the religious community
should be used to alleviate the overwhelming problems of newly released ex-offenders, 
and thus reduce their reasons for returning to crime. Using a congregation-based team
partnership model suggested by Hershel Walker and the Prison Service Committee 
(now Prisoner Family Services of Immanuel Lutheran), and a one-year grant from the 
United Way, VIPP hired a director and began Project COPE as a pilot program in March 1984.
After that grant expired, COPE reorganized as an independent organization with its own 
ecumenical Board of Directors. From the beginning, teams made a one-year commitment to
their ex-offender partners. Most provided bus passes, clothing, state IDs and money for
food, and all of them helped their partners look for work, get medical assistance and 
find safe housing.
Project COPE’s transitional  housing program began in fall 1991 in leased facilities. 
By August 1994, COPE had raised enough money to buy two adjacent four-unit apartment
buildings (3529 and 3533 Marcus). In January 2000, COPE purchased and remodeled 
3537 Marcus to expand its transitional housing and remove the last blight on the block.
Two housing units are accessible. They have been used by residents who are older and 
those who have been ill.
Through its history, Project COPE has had three executive directors:
Linda Schroeder (1985-2006) 
Sr. Mary Ann McGivern (2006-2009) 
Adrienne Denson (2009-)

 

Mission

Project COPE provides community re-entry support for selected ex-offenders through 

faith-based team partnerships and transitional housing.
 

Our Goals:

  • To assist released prisoners in meeting their own goals of reintegrating into society by gaining meaningful work, rebuilding family relationships, making new  friends and growing in compassionate self-knowledge.
  • To assist members of faith communities in meeting and working with people whose 
    life experiences are very different from their own; and in learning from these  men 
    and women, as well as helping them.

A History of Project COPE
 

In 1983, Volunteers in Probation and Parole (VIPP)–an auxiliary organization of the 

Department of Corrections–decided that the resources of the religious community

should be used to alleviate the overwhelming problems of newly released ex-offenders, 

and thus reduce their reasons for returning to crime. Using a congregation-based team

partnership model suggested by Hershel Walker and the Prison Service Committee 

(now Prisoner Family Services of Immanuel Lutheran), and a one-year grant from the 

United Way, VIPP hired a director and began Project COPE as a pilot program in March 1984.

After that grant expired, COPE reorganized as an independent organization with its own 

ecumenical Board of Directors. From the beginning, teams made a one-year commitment to

their ex-offender partners. Most provided bus passes, clothing, state IDs and money for

food, and all of them helped their partners look for work, get medical assistance and 

find safe housing.
 

Project COPE’s transitional  housing program began in fall 1991 in leased facilities. 

By August 1994, COPE had raised enough money to buy two adjacent four-unit apartment

buildings (3529 and 3533 Marcus). In January 2000, COPE purchased and remodeled 

3537 Marcus to expand its transitional housing and remove the last blight on the block.

Two housing units are accessible. They have been used by residents who are older and 

those who have been ill.
 

Through its history, Project COPE has had three executive directors:

  • Linda Schroeder (1985-2006) 
  • Sr. Mary Ann McGivern (2006-2009) 
  • Adrienne Denson (2009-)