Tag Archives: DC

After Incarcerated: The Irony of Job Opportunities

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As I sat down at the court building with my brother, I noticed the wall seen in the above photo. It has numerous postings of job opportunities, but for who? Most formerly incarcerated individuals are discriminated against because of their background, which leads to them not obtaining employment. So then what? You are not able to provide for yourself so you get frustrated; you become angry at the world. You commit crimes to survive, to feel better about your situation, or to just release your anger. As a result, you end back in jail; it’s a never ending cycle.

If you continuously miss your appointments with your Parole Officer (P.O.), you could be thrown in jail. What if you do not have money to see your P.O.? That’s a charge. What if you illegally ride the bus or train to try to meet with your P.O. That’s another charge. What what can you do? The Justice System is designed to keep you in; it’s designed to make sure you never succeeded in life.

Waiting to see Patrol Officers

The waiting room is extremely hot, and many of the formerly incarcerated were becoming irritated. Many of them wait for long periods of time and no one ever comes to the front desk. When they knock on the window to get the workers attention they are told to “calm down and take a seat.” They were calm. They are talked down upon as if they are children. I asked if they were always treated this way and they said yes. This is sad to see, and it needs to change.

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Why are there so many homeless youth in DC?

Have You Ever Asked A Youth Why they Will Not Go Home?

This Washington Post article may give you some answers-Sasha Bruce confronts the dark, painful reasons some kids run away from home

Playtime Project’s Health Fair For DC’s Largest Homeless Shelter

 

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D.C. General’s front sign

On August 27,  2016, The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project hosted a health fair for D.C. General’s Family Homeless Shelter. Playtime Project’s mission is to “nurture healthy child development and reduce the effects of trauma among children” who live in short-term housing programs in Washington, D.C.

The shelter holds way over 200 families and provides residents with a rooms to stay with their families, three meals a day, a place to wash clothes, and a playground for children where they can play safely under supervision.

While the shelter has gone through many problems in the past, with the help of Playtime Project, they have made some improvements.

Many organizations who aim to promote and give accurate health information came out to help the D.C. General community. Among the many organizations at the fair was The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). At the fair, LAYC conducted engaging demonstrations of child birth that kept the interest of parents, as well as children.

Surprisingly, Street Sense, a D.C. newspaper dedicated to uplifting the homeless and providing them with sales experience, were there to give information to the residents at the fair on how to become a Street Sense vendor. As a newspaper, Street Sense is unique in that the funds for the paper sales go directly to the homeless who sale them.

As an intern at The Young Women’s Project (YWP), I had the opportunity to represent the organization at the fair. YWP focuses on youth poverty issues, as well as sexual health.

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A table for The Young Women’s Project

At the fair, I presented health information as well as gave instructions on how to properly use condoms and other barrier contraceptions.

 

Towards the end of the fair, Playtime Project held a giveaway for expecting mothers. The prizes included training toilets for toddlers and many other things mothers may need for their child. Playtime Project also distributed diapers, baby wipes and other items for small babies.

The fair provided a lot of information and connections in D.C. for families to take advantage of and lead healthier lives.

 

 

After Incarcerated: The Irony of Job Opportunities

image

As I sat down at the court building with my brother, I noticed the wall seen in the above photo. It has numerous postings of job opportunities, but for who? Most formerly incarcerated individuals are discriminated against because of their background, which leads to them not obtaining employment. So then what? You are not able to provide for yourself so you get frustrated; you become angry at the world. You commit crimes to survive, to feel better about your situation, or to just release your anger. As a result, you end back in jail; it’s a never ending cycle.

If you continuously miss your appointments with your Parole Officer (P.O.), you could be thrown in jail. What if you do not have money to see your P.O.? That’s a charge. What if you illegally ride the bus or train to try to meet with your P.O. That’s another charge. What what can you do? The Justice System is designed to keep you in; it’s designed to make sure you never succeeded in life.

Waiting to see Patrol Officers

The waiting room is extremely hot, and many of the formerly incarcerated were becoming irritated. Many of them wait for long periods of time and no one ever comes to the front desk. When they knock on the window to get the workers attention they are told to “calm down and take a seat.” They were calm. They are talked down upon as if they are children. I asked if they were always treated this way and they said yes. This is sad to see, and it needs to change.

Reminder: Aging Out of the Foster Care System

Please help this single mother who is nearing emancipation:

“I have been in the foster care system for four and a half years now. I entered the system at fifteen and I will age out when I am twenty-one. My name is Olivia Alexander, I am currently nineteen so I have about a year and a half before I am out and completely on my own. I will have to provide for not only myself but my daughter as well. I am the main provider for us now but it is hard trying to provide what we need with the small stipend I get. It was a little easier when I was working but now that I am not it is difficult. I also attend college full time so trying to balance being a mother, a student, and trying to get a job can be a bit overwhelming. I am doing the best that I can to make sure  my daughter and I will be alright when I age out. I love my daughter more than anything in the whole galaxy! I just want to be the mother she desrves and provide her with a happy life. I don’t want to have to worry about where we will be laying our heads when I have to leave the system. That is why I started this campaign, to raise additional money that will go towards us moving. I know a year and a half seems far off but it comes sooner than thought sometimes and I want to be prepared for when it comes. My goal is to reach at least $3,000 but anything we get will be greatly appreciated!! A little help goes a long way, especially with my situation. Please give any help that you can even if it is only a dollar, it will be of so much help. I want to thank anyone in advance who will lend a helping hand..”

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Aftercare is Failing Emancipated Youth

In the Summer of 2015 the CASA aftercare program for emancipated foster youth came to an end, as it should have due to its lack of support. Thinking back to when I was preparing for emancipation, I received little support from my unpaid CASA. With emphasis on “unpaid,” I thought that this was the reason I received little to no support. I appreciated the times my CACA took me to lunch, but lunch didn’t solve my anxiety towards emancipation.

When I really needed her, I could not get in touch with her. She was way to busy with school, and she was having housing problems-she was living out of the basement of her parents home. So how could someone like her possible be in a position to assist a youth nearing emancipation?

The current aftercare program is no better. At this time, I cannot go into full details about my current living situation due to a future blog that will be published elsewhere, but let me just say that it’s nothing like it was described. The idea of Program X ( I will refer to it as Program X) was great, but underdeveloped and probably underfunded, as it seems.

Program X is not realistic to the lives of the older youth who are there. Their idea is to provide independence, but a successful program cannot provide independence to older youth in one area, and cripple them in another.

I do not wish for the closing of Program X, but if something is not done soon it will close and many youth will be homeless.

Aging Out of the Foster Care System

Please help this single mother who is nearing emancipation:

“I have been in the foster care system for four and a half years now. I entered the system at fifteen and I will age out when I am twenty-one. My name is Olivia Alexander, I am currently nineteen so I have about a year and a half before I am out and completely on my own. I will have to provide for not only myself but my daughter as well. I am the main provider for us now but it is hard trying to provide what we need with the small stipend I get. It was a little easier when I was working but now that I am not it is difficult. I also attend college full time so trying to balance being a mother, a student, and trying to get a job can be a bit overwhelming. I am doing the best that I can to make sure  my daughter and I will be alright when I age out. I love my daughter more than anything in the whole galaxy! I just want to be the mother she desrves and provide her with a happy life. I don’t want to have to worry about where we will be laying our heads when I have to leave the system. That is why I started this campaign, to raise additional money that will go towards us moving. I know a year and a half seems far off but it comes sooner than thought sometimes and I want to be prepared for when it comes. My goal is to reach at least $3,000 but anything we get will be greatly appreciated!! A little help goes a long way, especially with my situation. Please give any help that you can even if it is only a dollar, it will be of so much help. I want to thank anyone in advance who will lend a helping hand..”

donate