Is there a crisis in the suburbs?
From the outside we rarely distinguish between hard facts, soft facts, and speculation. Moreover it’s hard to avoid certain inferences, for we mght assume that those in transitional housing programs fit a certain “guilty as charged” description, and of course, when released from a program, somehow ‘magically’ should not be considered as such anymore – even though the process of reintegration is still evolving.
No one can achieve real sustainable development and make the planet better for all, if these certain men and women are excluded from opportunities, services, and the chance for a better life.
The restrictions centered on “ex” or former felons (homeless in particular) limit openings and reject the ability to be housed, employed, and receive social benefits because of the continuing judgments placed upon them from the time of their first court arraignment hearing.
Many assumptions are easily characterized when you can’t understand the audience for which I am trying to describe in this inequality. Two groups are at the center of discussion relating to what is sustainable equity. Inclusion and exclusion.
Did you know that 1 in 19 Georgia adults is on some form of community supervision? Which is to say the men and women are either on probation, parole, or incarcerated. This observation alone makes the story hit a little closer to home. Perhaps you’d never considered the fact that someone in your own family or neighborhood, or even your work fits this statistic.
What does it mean to be a Returning Citizen?
Inclusion remember, starts with your beliefs, therefore it’s good to know what you first believe to be part of a whole. Within this series of writings, I’ve previously spoken regarding the value of voice and vision. You can go back to catch up with where we are in this article by reading the previous two.
The word “returning citizen” here for the sake of this blog, is a funny term or a misnomer, since no rights are being restored, and no citizenship is provided (except for paying taxes and supervision fees). But we like such phrases – as it sounds so transitional like. The thought of someone moving towards dropping the ‘name tag’ and pairing up with the idea of equity.
Seems a stamp of inequality has already made its indelible mark for those trying to gain freedom. However, the great benefit to know here is that it doesn’t have to mark any of us that way. Rest assured that while everything worthwhile is always uphill, and the fact that those leaving institutions around the country are always going uphill there’s the assurance our voice improves over time as our vision becomes clearer regarding purposes in life.
The goal of any thriving organization or community starts with the recognition of providing equal opportunities for housing, employment, advancement, and access to education. Certainly, your generous support has allowed men and women that we engage in the transition process to feel included in a genuine opportunity to be part of a whole, because they feel they have access to a host of resources for a better tomorrow. So, for that they would simply say, “thank you that I am not being defined by my worst mistake”.