Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Halfway house

Entrepreneurial goal: Antoine Day and Jarrett Adams, who were both exonerated after having been wrongfully imprisoned, have worked with Life After Innocence, a group affiliated with Loyola’s School of Law that offers support to such individuals. Day and Adams want to establish a nonprofit halfway house for exonerees (and possibly some parolees) on Chicago’s West Side that will offer them housing and counseling services as they rebuild their lives.

Key challenges: Finding an affordable, workable property and completing a business plan that will aid in fundraising efforts.

Quinlan team’s business plan:

  • Found: a rehabbed six-flat in West Garfield Park that can be converted into a group home with living quarters, a multipurpose room, and dining, meeting, and counseling facilities.
  • Day would serve as house manager, and the home would partner with established service providers to offer counseling and employment help.
  • Start-up costs are estimated at $110,000; residents would pay about $425 per month in rent. Fundraising will be crucial.

“In the beginning, this was merely a vision, and we didn’t know how we would get there,” says team leader Brad Lorden (JD/MBA '12), who knew the clients from his previous work with Life After Innocence. “We needed to come up with a way for the home to be financially and operationally sustainable.”

Client’s response: “This has been a dream of mine for a long time,” says Day, who works as an outreach coordinator for prisoner re-entry. “It brought tears to my eyes just seeing it start to develop.”

“In prison you’re in a time capsule. This house will be a launching pad for guys who come home,” Adams says.

What’s next: Day is hoping to purchase the West Garfield six-flat and is busy lining up donors. Adams, who completed his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Roosevelt University and started Loyola School of Law, will serve on the board of directors with Lorden. “I plan to put in lots more work,” Adams says.

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