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WIN Helps ConConnect Reach New App Audience

ConConnect Founder and CEO Andre Peart

The Westchester Innovation Network (WIN) recently helped ConConnect reach new audiences for its job-resources app through a match with the Yonkers Housing Authority.

ConConnect helped more than 150 people, including formerly incarcerated tenants and their friends and family members. Fifty-four percent of app users searched for jobs and others accessed it for entrepreneurial and small business development information and networking.

ConConnect helps the formerly incarcerated successfully re-enter their communities by connecting them with job-finding resources, mentors, and networking tools via an easy-to-use app. WIN is a Business Council of Westchester (BCW) initiative designed to connect innovative products and services with existing organizations to guide and support their development.

“The formerly incarcerated and those they live with are often struggling with financial stressors that can lead to late rent payments, yet their housing authority isn’t always aware of their situation or financial needs,” said Andre Peart, Founder and CEO of ConConnect. “Both those who are working on reentry and their families can benefit from our services and support.”

The collaboration ignited policy initiatives aimed at enhancing housing stability by making it easier for previously incarcerated people to qualify for rental leases.

“ConConnect helps our people and puts us in a position to help even more people through the real-world data and insights they have provided,” said Kimball. “We are sharing those insights with our congressmen and actively work to change HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) policies to potentially impact the lives of a larger community. It’s incredibly vital progress and it’s happening right now.”

ConConnect’s research shows that 80 percent of people returning from prison live in low-income and affordable housing, often with family and friends. Their stay can put additional financial strain on loved ones, which adds to the challenge of reentry.

“The repercussions of the partnership are amazing and replicable across municipalities.” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, the BCW’s president and CEO. “The BCW and the WIN program are committed to connecting other county municipalities with the resources they need to support reentry for the formerly incarcerated and their families.”

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