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Nearly 50% of people released from prison return within three years. But less than 1% of graduates from Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison ever return. By offering college degree programs, their mission is to give people the tools to turn their lives around and give back to their communities when released.

Freethink is proud to present this story in partnership with Stand Together. For more information on other inspiring community efforts they support, visit https://www.stand-together.org.

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Accessibility
This Designer is Making Masks for People With Disabilities
masks for people with disabilities
Accessibility
This Designer is Making Masks for People With Disabilities
With special closures, see-through panels, and a riot of colors and patterns, designer Sky Cubacub is making face masks for people with disabilities.

With special closures, see-through panels, and a riot of colors and patterns, designer Sky Cubacub is making face masks for people with disabilities.

Dope Science
Legal Pot Is Finally Growing Up and Going to College
cannabis degree program
Dope Science
Legal Pot Is Finally Growing Up and Going to College
As medical marijuana becomes mainstream, so does the need for an educated workforce in the industry. Enter the nation's first-ever cannabis degree program.

As medical marijuana becomes mainstream, so does the need for an educated workforce in the industry. Enter the nation's first-ever cannabis degree program.

Catalysts
Shedding the Stigma of Substance Use
Shedding the Stigma of Substance Use
Catalysts
Shedding the Stigma of Substance Use
By achieving fitness goals together, The Phoenix community is peeling off the shame, regret, and stigma often associated with addiction.
By Esther Landhuis

By achieving fitness goals together, The Phoenix community is peeling off the shame, regret, and stigma often associated with addiction.

Catalysts
This Social Enterprise is Cleaning Up Chicago One Street at a Time
Transitional employment
Catalysts
This Social Enterprise is Cleaning Up Chicago One Street at a Time
This nonprofit is not only polishing the streets of Chicago, but providing a "clean slate" for its interns. Those with a criminal background, dealing with addiction recovery, or domestic violence, are welcome to take part in job training and counseling.

It's a muggy Wednesday morning in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, the temperature and humidity rising before the sun. Lena, decked out in her eye-catching slate shirt and chartreuse vest, leans slightly out into the busy rush-hour traffic, sweeping litter (wrappers, cups, lots of cigarette butts) from the gutter into her dustpan. On the sidewalk, she empties her collection into a cart. As she moves down the street,...

Catalysts
Can the Apartment Industry Help Solve Homelessness?
Can the Apartment Industry Help Solve Homelessness?
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Catalysts
Can the Apartment Industry Help Solve Homelessness?
Meet the innovative group connecting people with housing — and a job that can pay for it.
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Over 80% of people experiencing homelessness are "situationally homeless" -- losing their housing after a lost job or unforeseen incident. This can spiral quickly into other issues that make it difficult to recover. Shelters to Shutters is an innovative organization that identified a solution that addresses both needs and connects individuals experiencing homelessness to both an entry level job and an apartment in order to...

Social Entrepreneurs
Breaking Abuse Victims’ Financial Handcuffs
Breaking Abuse Victims’ Financial Handcuffs
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Social Entrepreneurs
Breaking Abuse Victims’ Financial Handcuffs
This amazing organization is doing whatever it takes to help domestic violence victims survive on their own.
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Often the biggest barrier to leaving an abusive relationship is its cost. Without the means to support themselves or their children, or as a result of economic abuse, many people end up suffering domestic violence for far too long. FreeFrom was founded by Sonya Passi, a law student who’d co-founded the Family Violence Appellate Project to provide pro-bono legal representation for survivors of domestic violence. She...

Grandkids on Demand
Grandkids on Demand
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Grandkids on Demand
A new service provides “grandkids on demand.”
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Seniors often need help or companionship - but there might not be anyone to call. Papa is a new service that connects them with college students for help with household tasks, transportation, technology--and companionship. This allows seniors to maintain independence and stay in their homes rather than assisted living facilities. It also provides college students with a great way to earn extra cash and develop work...

Coffin-Building Club Helps Seniors Face Death and Enjoy Life
Coffin-Building Club Helps Seniors Face Death and Enjoy Life
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Coffin-Building Club Helps Seniors Face Death and Enjoy Life
These seniors are tackling the stigma around death by decorating their own coffins.
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Most people are afraid to even talk about death, but New Zealand’s Kiwi Coffin Club is facing it head on. Founded by Katie Williams, a former midwife and hospice nurse, members build and then decorate their own customized coffins as a way of celebrating their lives and highlighting their unique personalities. "Death's pretty natural, you know," says Williams. "It shouldn't be a frightening sort of situation. It's part of...

Wrong
We’re All Gonna Starve!
We’re All Gonna Starve!
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Wrong
We’re All Gonna Starve!
A revolution in food production turned predictions of a population bomb into a worldwide boom.
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A pervasive fear of overpopulating the world swept America and other countries in the late 1960s and ‘70s, but a revolution in food production turned predictions of a population bomb into a worldwide boom.