United Christian Prison Ministry

Award Recipients - 1999

Reverend Ramon Cabrera, Founder and Director

Reverend Ramon Cabrera is the founder and leader of the United Christian Prison Ministry (UCPM), which help ex-offenders and parolees develop their skills, rebuild relationships with their families and integrate back into the community.  The organization started in 1993 as Reverend Cabrera and his wife, Mercedes, welcomed into their East Harlem apartment recent parolees who had no place to live.  In 1995, they moved UCPM into a small building in East Harlem and started to accept referrals from the parole and probation agencies, the court system, hospitals and others.  They set up 40 beds and began providing transitional housing, counseling, training and meals to former inmates, many of whom face difficulties associated with substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, homelessness and unemployment.
Today, UCPM provides a safe haven where persons recently released from prison receive initial orientation and referral to available programs and services in New York City.  Each resident receives counseling, assessment and referral to drug rehab, HIV/AIDS counseling and other services as needed.  The men also engage in community service work and volunteer in UCPM’s food pantry and soup kitchen, which serve the people of East Harlem.

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