The team at Phobio has been working remotely for more than a year, and they recently joined together from their home offices for a volunteer project to support individuals coming out of incarceration and help them make a smooth re-entry back to their communities. Phobio employees put together kits with much needed personal care items, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, shampoo and the like. They also wrote notes of encouragement to those receiving the kits.
The volunteer project served as a way to bring the remote work colleagues together as much as it did to help others in the community. “Working remotely has been embraced by our team as a way to remain safer during the pandemic and to also have flexibility in their work schedules” said Stephen Wakeling, Phobio CEO. “We are a close-knit team and we work hard to keep our culture alive, even when we are not in the same office together.”
Helping formerly incarcerated people make a successful transition back into the community is a goal with far-reaching implications, and helping break the cycle of poverty is one of the key indicators to a successful, sustained re-entry. The numbers tell the story: People who have been to prison once experience homelessness at a rate of nearly 7 times higher than the general public. Those who have been incarcerated more than once have homeless rates 13 times higher than the general public.
“We have built an incredibly supportive community inside of Phobio, where we look out for one another and help each other in times of need” said Stephen Wakeling, Phobio CEO. “Not everyone has the same kind of support system. That’s why it’s so important for us as a company and as individuals to give back when we can. With this project, we hope to provide support and encouragement, as well as practical items that will make people’s transition back into their communities a little bit easier.”
WeHero brought Phobio together with Freedom is a Choice, a local nonprofit that helps at-risk people, for this project. Phobio and WeHero share a common interest in the circular economy and a concern for the planet. As part of this project, WeHero offset 42 pounds of carbon to neutralize the shipments of materials that were used in putting together the kits.