Oakland Unite in the News

Oakland Unite’s Lead Case Manager, Emilio Mena and Program Analyst, Sara Serin-Christ are quoted in the Oakland Local article “Ceasefire’s missing link: What about jobs?” by A. Scot Bolsinger. The article talks about the need for permanent employment opportunities for Ceasefire participants, and some of the challenges in finding them . “One of the hardest things about my work is the whole employment piece,” Mena said. “You’re talking about young men that have been in the system for many, many years, and honestly, the system has failed them, whether it be slipping [through] the cracks in education or a foster care situation or the legal situation. It becomes survival of the fittest.” These obstacles make it even more challenging to get participants ready to succeed in permanent employment. However, Emilio is hopeful, despite all of these challenges, ““The lack of opportunity for young men of color with criminal records is alarming. But the city of Oakland, the beautiful thing is, we do fund re-entry programs and have connections with employers that care about these people to give them an opportunity.”

To read the entire article click HERE.

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