Supporting Ourselves While Supporting Our Love Ones (SOSOLO) began in June of 2011. It was founded, to fill the need to provide services and supports for individuals and families whose loved ones are in conflict with the law, who are provincially and/or federally incarcerated. The initial arrest, the sentencing process and incarceration have a very devastating effect on the loved ones of persons incarcerated – adult children, parents, wives, husbands, life-partner’s, friends and extended family members.
SOSOLO saw that there was a tremendous gap in services to the target community, and in particular support programs that address the needs of people, who have someone close to them in conflict with the law. Navigating through the criminal justice system, separation/reunion issues, emotional trauma, advocacy, referrals and legal support, are critical to the rebuilding of families, and successful reintegration of ex-offenders into the society.
Because there is so much stigma facing loved ones, even if they are without a criminal record themselves, SOSOLO actively engages in public education to reframe thinking about loved ones, from eliminating hurtful stereotypes, towards a strengths-based framework. SOSOLO's workshops are geared towards: service providers; students in high schools and postsecondary colleges/universities; correctional facilities; policy-makers; and community members in various neighbourhoods within and external to the Greater Toronto Area.