Organization History

In 1986, then-Mayor W. Wilson Goode was facing severe prison overcrowding in Philadelphia. He approached attorney Yvonne Haskins, who along with several other prominent women and men in the local legal community, founded New Directions for Women in 1987.

New Directions’ mission and programming have evolved along with the needs of the population we serve and the larger community in which we provide these services.

While New Directions was originally formed to relieve prison overcrowding, currently, we are working on increasing capacity and visibility in the community so we can serve more women more completely. This evolution of goals was natural considering that our current residents are your future neighbors. Our mission has less to do with overcrowding and more with equipping our program participants for success after they graduate and leave us. Results-oriented programming is our daily focus; smooth and purposeful reentry for our graduates is our central aim. We seek to ensure that graduates are able to fulfill all the important roles in their lives with grace and confidence.