This blog post is very overdue. I blinked and two months went by. My year got off to odd start and some of those things still aren’t truly settled (For example, I have to work from a satellite office most of the time because I STILL don’t have security clearance at work)
So let’s play a little catch-up. Last time I posted, I still didn’t have a job placement for the year. I’ve been at Riverside House now for a little over a month. Riverside House is a halfway house, or technically, a residential reentry facility. We host the formerly incarcerated as a time of transition between prison and their return to the community. (Hence, the need for such extension security clearance) We provide all kinds of care, spiritual, physical, mental, education, substance abuse treatment and whatever else our residents need. The long term goal is keep our residents from returning to prison. 60% of people released from prison return someday because almost everyone has mental, physical or substance abuse problems. Riverside tries to break the cycle of recidivism by easing the transition, treating the issues and providing resources.
My job was primarily to work on reapplying to the Federal Bureau of Prisons so we can continue to do this. This project was completed this week (although not without some major hiccups) so I’ll be working with the Spiritual Life Team who, among other things, plan events and provide religious counseling and the Development department, which raises money and awareness of our nonprofit. While, the residents are covered by the government, we try to continue services with our alumni and those who are not released to a halfway house but directly to the streets without no plan, resources or help. We raise the money that funds this aftercare.
I like my job a lot. I work with great, passionate and kind people. They are doing great work to help individuals, families and the community. They work to change lives, reunify families and prevent crime.
So even though I feel mostly settled at work (My commute is quite long until my clearance comes through), I feel a little unbalanced outside of it. For multiple reasons, I am now the only YAV based in Miami so I am working on how to be my own community and find it outside of the YAV house. I’ve made some great connections at the church I attended most regularly and I still have all the support of the DOOR/YAV team. But if you know anyone in Miami who wants a brunch buddy, I’m available.
I haven’t even mentioned all the things I’ve done and events I’ve attended outside of work and home but for now all I have the time is this quick update but I hope to write something more insightful and thought provoking in the future. I have had several experiences in all this that made me stop and think and consider my place in the world, the church and this city. All those things that are supposed to make this year of service into a lifetime of changes.
Lastly, I still need to raise about $900 to complete my fundraising goal. Especially because today is Give Miami Day (a city movement to support nonprofits) or on Giving Tuesday in two weeks, if you feel called to support my YAV year, please follow the support tab. Thanks again to my loved ones who have supported me already!