Wait Up! is a nonprofit organization founded by Kim Alexander in 2017. Headquartered in Prince George’s County, Maryland, it was created to re-connect returning citizens and others in transition, to their communities by giving them another chance through the context of social enterprise. The organization offers a nationally certified job training program within the hospitality industry. It’s present focus is on restaurant and banquet services, with the provision of a sustainable and measurable support system to those re-entering society.
Wait Up! is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a supportive learning environment to re-connect returning citizens to their communities through education, workforce development training, job placement and job retention services.
Wait Up! is an organization unique in its space, developing creative solutions to build safe communities by creating structured career pathways in the hospitality industry for returning citizens after incarceration.
Wait Up! addresses the issue of recidivism by offering a job-readiness program to position returning citizens to deal with the collateral consequences associated with their past criminal history. The program also addresses the human service, soft skills and financial literacy needs of this group while re-building productive lives, self-esteem, responsibility and confidence. In turn, these efforts will aid in de-perpetuating the cycle of poverty and incarceration while increasing public safety.
The efforts to successfully turn around the lives of returning citizens is contingent upon the synergistic collaboration of many individuals, groups, and partners, both within and outside of the criminal justice system. A significant part of this endeavor is working with federal, state and local government agencies to become engaged in the rehabilitation of returning citizens released to their communities.
Wait Up! serves as an advocate to local business leaders and potential employers to alter their perception of returning citizens as an untapped source of potential workers. Returning citizens have names, faces, work, and educational histories. Wait Up! strives to put a face to the challenges experienced by returning citizens with criminal justice system involvement by the attainment of positive skills and attitudes via the implementation of the short and long term goals of the program.