History - Renewal Inc

Our History

The Early Years

From our very inception, Renewal, Inc. has been dedicated to returning adjudicated offenders to society as responsible citizens. Renewal was first formed in 1958, originated through the efforts of a group of Pittsburgh businessmen serving on the Penal Committee of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In its formative years, Renewal assisted offenders in developing a parole plan by identifying sponsors and employment opportunities. The Catholic Diocese provided housing for the parolees, who frequently lacked resources or families to support them, at the St. Joseph House of Hospitality in the lower Hill District of Downtown Pittsburgh.

The organization’s successful and intensive focus on sustainable healing for the individual was established almost immediately. In fact, Renewal was first incorporated as a private, non-profit organization in 1976 through the efforts of Administrator Thomas O’Brien, himself an ex-offender and resident in the program.

Building a Comprehensive Program

Renewal expanded its services to include housing in 1988, opening a 25-bed facility in Homestead, PA, through a contract with Allegheny County intended to help mitigate overcrowding in the Allegheny County Jail. Based on the success of the initial Homestead program, Renewal has grown its relationship with Allegheny County and has entered additional contractual agreements with a range of County, State and Federal entities. Today, we offer residential services for up to 672 individuals through 2 facilities throughout the Pittsburgh area.

We have strategically pursued and leveraged our contractual relationships to evolve our service offering into one of the most comprehensive programs in the corrections space. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, this approach allowed us to expand our program to accept women, and to build out adult basic education services, Drug Court services, alternative housing and work release services along with whole-family, mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy and continuing care programming. In line with the increasing demand created by our growing capabilities, we formed our subsidiary, Renewal Treatment, Inc.® to perform inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment services in 1997.

Best-In-Class Facilities

Renewal consolidated our operation in 1995 when we purchased a building and renovated a facility located at 339 Boulevard of the Allies in downtown Pittsburgh. Through a robust renovation, this location now has a bed capacity of 290 and meets all standards of the Americans with Disability Act, American Correctional Association Adult Community Residential Services 4th Edition, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Federal Bureau of Prisons.

In November, 2008, Renewal’s corporate office moved to 601 Grant Street, in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. Looking ahead, Renewal is excited to open a new eight-story facility (adjacent to the current 704 Second Avenue facility) that will be dedicated to Treatment and Rehabilitation services. We also have plans to launch a full Juvenile Justice Reentry Treatment services program that will deliver comprehensive family treatment, education and reunification services designed to continue care as returning residents and their families rejoin the community together.

Awards and Accreditation

Renewal is recognized as a leading model for reintegration services. Renewal is accredited by the American Correctional Association meeting and often exceeding all nationally recognized performance-based standards for our industry.  For more information on our accreditation, please visit www.ACA.org.