Thomas Ridley

With Your Help, We are Making The World a Better Place

Thomas Ridley’s 1 Like Me is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing reentry services to those returning to communities in central Indiana from jail or prison. Focusing on employment, life skills, and removing civil legal barriers, 1 Like Me’s mission is to reduce recidivism through supportive services and encourage desistance with opportunities. Founded by a returning citizen, Thomas Ridley, 1 Like Me aims to instill a real sense of hope to those returning home.

Our organization provides a variety of direct services to and referrals source for the formerly incarcerated. The services we offer include forklift certification, computer skills, and driver’s license assistance. We refer 1 Like Me participants to other agencies such as Café for HSE programming or RecycleForce and Goodwill Industries for job training. 1 Like Me also partners with local community organizations to provide a continuum of reentry services. One such partnership includes a law student organization, the Second Chance Reentry Assistance Program or SCRAP, which offers services aimed at overcoming civil legal barriers. This partnership has resulted in a combination of both pre and post release services.

Our work transcends gender, race, and age as we serve people from all walks of life. 1 Like Me has recently intensified our efforts in the most troubled zip codes. 1 Like Me understands the worry, uneasiness and fear of “ what awaits,” experienced by newly released individuals. We particularly understand the hopelessness, despair and disillusion felt by those returning to struggling and impoverished communities. 1 Like Me is committed to being a First Responder that stands on the frontline aggressively providing services, resources, information, and hope! We hope to see soon!

We hope to see soon!

Thomas Ridley

Words from our Founder

During the 22 years of incarceration that I served in the federal penitentiary, I watched as countless young men who looked like myself “came and went” from the penitentiary. It was troubling to see all these men seemingly “playing with there freedom” in their Coming and going out of the prison system.

As a result, I started challenging these young men. Overwhelmingly, they would respond with the same response: “Big T (which is what they called me),” there is nothing out there to help us stay out of here. Nothing!!” Having been imprisoned for decades, I didn’t believe it and couln’t accept that as a reality on the outside. I left prison determined to help these men when they were released

Once I was released and it was my turn to locate services to assist me in my efforts to reenter, I discovered that there were minimal services and these services were little-known and difficult to access. Within three years of my release, 1 Like Me was formed as a not-for-profit entity. I worked tirelessly with my partner and and charter board member ( and best friend ), to create a reentry organization that would make sure that everyone returning from prison would know about our services prerelease and receive the best quality help in the City of Indianapolis – Thomas Ridley’s 1Like Me.

1 Like Me received federal tax exempt status in 2018 and has been up and running as a reentry organization since. Our Board is comprised of a variety of individuals including lawyers and those with lived experiences. And, our core team includes very smart people with a personal connection to reentry. I am YOUR advocate and dedicated to helping YOU succeed during your transition. I am like you and you are like me. Thomas Ridley