It’s no secret that nonprofits and local startups have a special place in our heart here at COhatch. Through our Impact Fund and Club, we work to distribute funds and resources to nonprofits and local startups that are making a difference in their communities. 

We recently caught up with Christine Marallen, Chief Strategy Officer at Damascus, a prison reentry nonprofit and COhatch GIVE Scholar, to learn a little bit more about the organization and how they’re making a difference.


Damascus and Its Mission

Operating out of COhatch Mason, Damascus is a nonprofit prison reentry and staffing organization that began working with the incarcerated in 2002. Damascus’s mission is to be the standard for organizations that use unconventional and sustainable solutions for incarceration reentry into the workforce to elevate individuals, communities, corporations, and the country.


How Damascus Works to Close Gaps

Damascus empowers men and women to pursue economic growth by giving them the necessary tools to improve their social well-being. The nonprofit starts building these relationships when people are in correctional facilities and continues throughout their release and time in transition housing. 

They use evidence-based approaches to offer individuals practical programs within two years of their release to address the hurdles they’ll face reintegrating into society. Damascus knows that healthy individuals make for strong families and thriving communities. 


Community Before Company

“Like COhatch, we believe in community before company,” said Christine.

Damascus’s work thrives on relationships. The nonprofit’s programming completion and employment conversion rates are what they are because they operate as one team. How things turn out matters to them. Since 2017, Damascus has graduated more than 480 people from their reentry program! 

“These numbers don’t just happen. They are possible because of the support from our incredible partners in our communities,” Christine said.


The Game Changer

“For Damascus and the work that we do, we rely on meeting other business owners to really drive our initiative of finding people employment. We count on meeting other professionals, whether it’s a networking opportunity, or just getting information on what’s happening in the economy and different work spaces, it’s really crucial for our organization,” said Christine.

“Just to be in the COhatch offices, our staff has the opportunity to meet other business owners, other nonprofits like us that are trying to move the needle in some way, it’s a game changer for us.” Looking to grow your nonprofit’s influence in the community? Learn more about our Impact Fund and apply for a GIVE Scholarship today!