Formerly incarcerated women fight to help others transition to life after prison

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Former inmates fight to help women transition to life after prison Former inmates fight to help women transition to life after prison
CASTLE HILL -

Two formally incarcerated women looking to help women transition to life after time in prison say the system is trying to prevent their vision from happening.  

Topeka Sam and Vanee Sykes met at Danbury Federal Prison in 2013, where they formed a plan to create a safe space where women can find help after prison.

When they were released, they put their plan into action.

In October, the pair used donor funding to buy a house on Caesar Place in Castle Hill, now known as Hope House. The house is fully furnished but virtually empty.

According to the New York Times, the house was set to be filled until Sam and Sykes were told they aren't allowed to accept applicants on state parole because of their own supervision status.

While Sam and Sykes work to change the rule, they will also be working to change the minds of some not-so-welcoming neighbors at next week's community board meeting.

Sam and Sykes say they are not letting this hurdle stop them from helping women in need.

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