Success Stories From Funded Agencies
Building on positive assets and resilience in individuals, families and communities drives the work of direct services that are at the core of all Oakland Unite violence prevention programs. These efforts are best illustrated by grantee organization success stories that are reported back to DHS each spring:
EBAYC– JJC Wraparound Services
‘Delvon’ was referred EBAYC in 2012. At that time, he was almost 18 years old and was enrolled in the GED program at McClymonds High School. His attendance was extremely poor. In fact, he was not attending school at all. During the time that ‘Delvon’ participated in EBAYC, his case manager discovered that he is a talented athlete. However, he wasn’t involved in any sport activities. His case manager got him to play for the school basket ball team. His love for sports has motivated him to go to class and tried to perform better in school. Through a lot of hard work, ‘Delvon’ finished 60 hours of community service, and completed 4 Probation-ordered Weekend Training Academies. Then in the midst of making progress, ‘Delvon’ cut off his GPS and ran away from home. His case manager never gave up and got him to turn himself in. They re-started the entire process to help him be compliant with his terms and conditions of probation. They focused on the type of academic placement that fit his interests and was appropriate for his age. Finally, ‘Delvon’ was enrolled at Merritt College in a program designed to help him complete his high school requirements and be eligible for a transfer into general education college courses. ‘Delvon’ finished his high school requirements. He is now a full-time college student and the star basketball player for Merritt College, leading his team into the playoff this year. ‘Delvon’ was dismissed from probation in 2013. He is continuing his college education and starting the process to get his records sealed. He is on track to sustain a brighter future.
MISSSEY – JJC Wraparound Services
An 18 year old client who was on probation for approximately 2 years, “Corrine,” was dismissed in March 2013. She had many challenges through the two years, such as getting a new criminal charge and multiple violations of probation due to ‘dirty’ urine tests. She was also in a relationship for 2 years that caused her to get addicted to cocaine, marijuana and other substances. Corrine wasn’t interested in employment because she felt that it wouldn’t be enough to take care of her and help her move out of her group home. She had lost a significant amount of weight, had a substance abuse issue and was not meeting her probation requirements. She has been involved in the foster care system since she was 12 and has had multiple placements which caused her to be frustrated and act out violently. Corrine is now enrolled in MISSSEY’s employment program and working at a job site. Her RAFA (Real Alternatives For Adolescents) was approved and she now has her own place, she is gaining weight slowly but surely. She no longer has a substance abuse problem, which allowed her to get dismissed from probation. She is enrolled and attending her GED program and has not had any violent outbursts. Even after getting dismissed from probation, she is still engaged in the program and staying in contact and reaching out when she is in need of support.
OUSD Alternative Education– JJC Wraparound Services
“Bobby” was originally not from Oakland and moved into a particular East Oakland neighborhood well known as a “hotspot” for violence. With his father in federal prison out of state and his mother having an extensive arrest record, Bobby was put on the case manager’s caseload after exiting the Juvenile Justice Center. After working with the Bobby for a few months, Bobby reportedly stole an item from an older “friend” from his own neighborhood. Word got out both at school and in the neighborhood of what had happened. Bobby was not at school for several days following this incident and was not returning the case manager’s calls. An older teenager at the same school as Bobby has a good relationship with the client’s case manager and warned him that there was specific talk that if the client did not return the stolen item, there would be serious physical repercussions to the client. Upon hearing this, the case manager acted quickly and coordinated with a Violence Interruption Team, who worked with the Bobby and someone who knew the person whose item was stolen. The stolen item was eventually returned to its rightful owner without any lingering bad feelings towards or physical repercussions to Bobby. The case manager, because of his connection with the client’s peers, was able to effectively facilitate the de-escalation and resolve of the situation in order to ensure his client’s health and safety in a timely manner. At the very center of what makes this work possible are the strong relationships case managers build with their clients and their colleagues and peers to be able to be called upon in times of need for collaboration. It is through these relationships that both attitude and behavior change is possible as well as potential violence averted, as was clearly the case in this situation.
OUSD JJC Manager– JJC Wraparound Services
The OUSD JJC Manager enrolled a student returning from out of state and the JJC in the high school summer intervention and assigned her to a case manager. This student, “Susannah,” was not able to complete the program. She was then enrolled in a high school designed to provide the behavior modification support needed based on her IEP. She was then transferred to yet another school for safety reasons. The JJC Manager followed up this transfer with a MDT meeting with school administrators to determine support needed. During this time, it was determined that Susannah was not taking medications that had been prescribed to her. The case manager responded to her cry for help and intervened and helped her find a safer environment to live in. The case manager also immediately provided support to get her to the doctor and get the proper medication administered. The OUSD JJC Manager used academic guidance support to update her transcripts immediately and discovered that she would only need 12 credits to complete graduation with a foster care waiver. This was wonderful news to Susannah. As a result, she is now enrolled in a new educational placement and a transition care program that will include living skills and support to launch her independence.
The Mentoring Center– JJC Wraparound Services
“Ted” is a fourteen-year-old residing in West Oakland. He has had challenges in school, at home and in the community. Ted’s mother is raising him and his younger brother alone, as his father and uncle are in prison. As a result, Ted has few, if any, positive male role models in his life. Immediately upon Ted’s referral to TMC, his case manager began getting calls from Ted’s mom and his school on almost a daily basis. Both were overwhelmed with Ted’s behavior. It became clear very early that Ted would require a lot of attention and special care. Ted became heavily involved in TMC’s program and attended the Transformative Manhood Group regularly. As a result of Ted’s consistency, his case manager was able to advocate on his behalf at Ted’s school, despite numerous suspensions. As Ted and his mother became more engaged with TMC, his case manager was able to connect them both to critical support services. He determined that they both needed counseling to address traumatic events that they both suffered, separately. Both Ted and his mother regularly go to individual and family therapy. Ted has made tremendous progress at school, and has not had any disciplinary incidents this year. Even the elder who have “adopted” Ted in the TMG have noticed a significant change. Ted has a long way to go, but with the continued support of TMC, he is on the right path to reaching his goals and becoming successful at school and at home and has a good chance of getting off of probation sooner and becoming a productive young adult.
Youth ALIVE! – JJC Wraparound Services
“Paul” is a 15-year-old, African American male who was referred to Youth Alive in November, 2012 through the Juvenile Justice strategy. Paul was assigned to an Intervention Specialist. Paul was referred to Juvenile court for having a fight while attending Bret Harte Middle School. Paul was in a physical altercation with another male student and was arrested soon after the fight. Paul struggled to “fit in” at Bret Harte because Paul’s parents were originally from Nigeria so he was often teased and did not make friends easily. Paul was transferred to Claremont Middle School after his release from JJC. Paul lived with his father and has two older sisters who both are away in college. Paul had minimal contact with his mother and after his parents divorced, his mother moved back to Nigeria. Paul continued to struggle with his grades maintaining a 1.5 GPA and was not attending his classes regularly. The Intervention Specialist met with the principal of Claremont Middle School to have a better sense of Paul and his peer interactions in addition to his failing grades. The principal stated that Paul had a lot of anger issues and would often start fights with his peers. The Intervention Specialist continued to meet with Paul twice per week at school until he started facilitating the weekly Young Men’s group. The Young Men’s group meets every Monday and Friday and utilizes the S.E.L.F. (Safety, Emotions, Loss, & Future) curriculum; the S.E.L.F. curriculum is a trauma-informed psycho-educational group. Paul started attending the group but was not actively participating because there were other young men in the group. Paul eventually started talking about his feelings and personal experiences with loss. The Intervention Specialist continued to check in with Paul at school and the principal informed him that Paul’s attendance had improved greatly and Paul’s GPA was just under a 3.0. Paul continues to attend the S.E.L.F. groups and has completed all of his community service. Paul has the goal of attending college to pursue a career in marketing.
Youth UpRising – JJC Wraparound Services
“Daryl” was arrested for drug offenses in 2010 and was placed on formal probation; as a result of that offense Daryl was referred to YU for case management services to help him meet the terms and conditions of his probation. In the beginning, Daryl was struggling to comply with his conditions of probation. He was truant, battling substance abuse and hung out with the wrong crowd. By the end of Daryl’s probation term his case manager was able to successfully get him re-enrolled and attending school on a regular basis, significantly reduce his substance abuse and provide employment referrals which allowed Daryl to work through a JJC partnership. Shortly thereafter Daryl completed probation. About a year and a half later Daryl re-offended and was placed on probation again. At the request of Daryl he was referred back to YU’s case management caseload through a direct referral from his probation officer. Since returning, Daryl has maintained a minimum GPA of 2.5, he has enrolled into the Step to College program at Fremont High School, where he has applied to several colleges. Daryl has also obtained his CA Drivers license and purchased a vehicle. Daryl is currently employed through the Title IV program and has successfully completed all terms and conditions of his probation and is expected to graduate high school this year and plans to further his education at an institution of higher learning.
The Unity Council — Youth Employment Services
“John” started the program wanting to be nothing but a famous musician. College was out of the question and was not included in his future plans. He was convinced that attending college would not help him with his dreams of becoming famous. After numerous discussions and meetings with the Youth Employment Counselor about the process and logistics of enrolling into college, John became more interested in attending college. Although initially he was hesitant to enroll into college, the Employment Counselor agreed to walk him through the whole process. Together they enrolled in college. The Counselor even took John to get his college identification card, and discovered that John was intimidated by the process and understood the process as a barrier. Today, John is in his first semester in college. Although there are times when he wants to drop out of college, he knows that importance of staying in college for his future.
Youth Employment Partnership– Youth Employment Services
“Dimitri”, aged 17 years, who was placed on probation in another county and staying in a group home in Oakland, came to YEP looking for employment to assist him in providing financial support for his two young children. He started the Job Readiness Training (JRT) lacking confidence and was unsure as to whether he had the patience to complete the seven-day pre-training program. As he progressed through the program, he became more focused on his goal of working and supporting his young family, showing initiative in the workshops, and actively seeking out advice on how to maximize his work experience and get another job. Upon his successful completion of JRT, Dimitri was placed at Carmen Flores Recreation Center in the Fruitvale District, as a Recreation Assistant to the after-school program. In the beginning, he was hesitant to work with elementary aged children, doubting his skills to be able to assist with the tutoring aspect of his work duties. To boost his confidence, and to assist him with his education requirements, he voluntarily and regularly participated in YEP’s math tutorials offered weekly. During his time working with the recreation center, Dimitri increased his confidence in himself and his abilities, and was a very effective team member. After a rough first two week start he completed six successful weeks (no unexcused absences from training or work) in the program, the participant graduated from his group home and has earned visitation privileges with his young family.
Youth Radio– Youth Employment Services
A success story is from “Rudy,” a participant who at first, had issues with anger management and building healthy relationships with his peers at Youth Radio. However, after 6 months of being in the program, he has shown tremendous improvement with his ability to connect with his peers, and has received positive feedback from staff that he’s engaged with. Daily he displays positive behavior for his peers to model and has been a consistent contributor to Youth Radio’s newsroom. Rudy was recently hired by Youth Radio, working as an intern in the newsroom and currently on his way to graduating from Dewey Academy with a high school diploma.
Youth UpRising — Youth Employment Services
“Ben”, a ninth grader at LPS (Leadership Public Schools) College Park, is a youth who has grown from the intensive one-on-one academic services this quarter. He started in Sustainable Urban Design Academy in Sept 2012 and was very enthusiastic about joining the healthy and fresh food access program at a local farmers market. Although he was committed to the program, he struggled with his grades. At the start of the program, Ben’s GPA on his 1st marking period was 1.0. This meant he was in danger of being removed from the program. Through Youth UpRising’s academic support and consistent check-ins he was able to increase his current GPA to 1.83 and YU anticipates that his academics will continue to improve.
Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) – Restorative Justice
“Phyllis” a student at Ralph J. Bunche Academy was introduced to Eric Butler who is the Restorative Justice Coordinator at Ralph J. Bunche Academy. Upon meeting Phyllis, Eric began with, “A lot of adults have been promising you things and not following through, and I’m sorry for that. It won’t happen with me. I don’t blame. I don’t punish.” His role, he explained, is to help people resolve problems and repair harm. Phyllis finally opened up; telling Eric her friend was accusing her of stealing shoes from her house. It took another half-hour before she trusted him enough to admit it was true – and that she’d been afraid of what might happen if she “punked out” and didn’t fight. The 18-year-old had been fighting with girls since elementary school, as if she didn’t know any other way. All three girls agreed to attend a “circle,” an eye-to-eye talk in the folding chairs in “Eric’s room” that are always set up in the round. The anger was palpable at first, but Phyllis apologized – and explained that she’d stolen the shoes to sell them so she could help her mom pay for a drug test. If her mom could prove to the court that she was clean, she might be able to get Phyllis’ younger siblings returned to her from protective custody. When the other girls saw Phyllis crying, they empathized and gave her a hug. They didn’t ask her to replace what she’d stolen, but they wanted to know that, going forward, she would be trustworthy.
OUSD Alternative Education – Gang Prevention
At Castlemont High School, a 22 year old former Norteno gang-involved young man, “Enrique,” spoke to parents. Afterward, several mothers rushed up afterwards with tears in their eyes, hugged the guest speaker and thanked him for coming to speak. One parent who has 3 smaller children said, “Now, I know how to keep my children safe.” Another parent whose son is gang affiliated said, “You remind me of my son! You two are very close in age. I am so glad you came to tell your story and how you were able to get out of the gang. Now, I am better able to help my son.” Survey responses to the question “What has been the most useful part of the training?” include:
- Identifying signs of gang affiliations, identifying the reasons why kids join gangs or want to join gangs.
- I feel better prepared and knowledgeable about how to help youth in gangs specifically how to refer them to appropriate resources.
- Strategies for identifying a student’s change in behavior & resources to connect students to.
- The understanding of resources that are available for those involved in gangs
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency — OUR KIDS Middle School Model
“Denise” is an eighth grade student at a middle school in Oakland. She has a long history of trauma and loss, and has witnessed community violence and parental substance abuse, and has experienced extreme cases of bullying and conflicts with peers and staff. Our CCM has worked closely with this student over the past couple of years in both group and individual settings. She has received less discipline referrals than in previous years, and has not been suspended at all this year. She has also dramatically increased her grade point average from a 1.0 to a 2.83, and she has worked hard to learn more about establishing healthy relationships and reducing intimate partner violence. Denise demonstrates self-motivation in continuing to improve her individual goals and transitioning to high school. Additionally, she continues to demonstrate her ability to be a well-rounded student by participating in positive, extra-curricular activities such as playing on the school’s basketball team and performing in the school talent show. In addition to her individual growth, Denise has accomplished many goals which demonstrate her resiliency and leadership in creating a better, safer community. She led a powerful workshop for all teachers and staff at her school, outlining effective ways to address bullying in the classroom. In addition, our CCM also worked with her in youth leadership settings such as restorative justice circles. Denise has really integrated this approach into her daily life at the school, and she utilizes Restorative Justice (RJ) processes to address conflicts with peers and staff, and this has helped prevent further escalation to violent interactions. She also participated in a student panel at the beginning of the school year that introduced all new students to RJ, specifically the way RJ helps to promote a safe and respectful community at school. As part of student leadership, Denise and two of her peers led a peace march to speak up against violence in her community. She also took a leadership role in presenting keynote speakers during a Violence Prevention week program at her school.
BAWAR — Outreach to CSEC
On June 21, 2012, a 16 year old client, “Lynne,” was picked up on a “Special Operation” with the Oakland Police department while BAWAR staff was present. An immediate connection was established and Lynne accepted services. She was taken into custody at the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) where an advocate visited with her twice a week until she was temporarily placed in a group home in Redding, CA in order to more completely sever ties connected to her exploitation. Over the last two quarters (6 months) Lynne’s BAWAR advocate kept in communication with her via twice a week phone calls and 1 visit every 3 months. This client returned home on March 8, and immediately came to the BAWAR offices. She was referred to MISSSEY SPA and has transitioned back home with great success thus far.
MISSSEY — Outreach to CSEC
“Francine” found out about the SPA from a friend she was staying with, who encouraged her to come to MISSSEY for help. When she came to the SPA she disclosed she was homeless, had not been to school in several months, as her mom left her and moved backed to Sacramento. The client was a having a hard time building a relationship with her mother and other family was nonexistent. Although extremely intelligent and mature, she wore her heart on her sleeve and found herself getting into fights often to help defend friends. We continued to work with her on her anger and since working with MISSSEY Francine has able to get enrolled in school at Oakland High, start employment with Youth Radio, continue case management services and has recently been matched with a mentor who she meets with weekly. Francine is a success story that we are very proud of and very happy she has connected with a mentor she likes and is doing well in school!
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, Safe House — Outreach to CSEC
The Mental Health Consultant (MHC) has been working with a very bright young boy, three years of age, “Jerry,” who has presented at school frequently very dis-regulated and very aggressive, both physically and verbally, sometimes making violent threats to his peers. It is clear that violence has impacted his life. Jerry has apparently witnessed domestic violence between his parents. The MHC has worked hard to put as many supports in place as quickly as possible. She was able to refer for intensive in-home parent-child psychotherapy and this boy is now being seen by a therapist with his mother. Due to the intensity of his behaviors, a referral to a therapeutic nursery is in process, and it appears he will be accepted into this program soon. The MHC observed that Jerry was very difficult for his classmates as well as his teacher. She reported that the children intensely express their dislike for him and state flatly they don’t want to be near him. She feels deep concern for their distress and for his self-esteem. He perceives the dislike of his classmates and makes statement like, “I’m stupid”, or, “Nobody likes me”. Fortunately, a lot has, and is, being put into place to provide Jerry with optimum support and to give him a chance to calm, regulate and hopefully to finally develop harmonious peer relationships. The therapeutic nursery should provide further wrap-around services to support the family. The staff felt deeply supported by the MHC’s persistence in getting these services in place. Again, the devastation of violence is being addressed here one child and one family at a time through the efforts of a caring staff.
Safe Passages – Mental Health Services for Ages 0-5
The Mental Health Consultant (MHC) has been working with a very bright young boy, three years of age, who has presented at school as frequently very dis-regulated and very aggressive, both physically and verbally, sometimes making violent threats to his peers. It is clear that violence has impacted his life. This child has apparently witnessed domestic violence between his parents. The MHC has worked hard to put as many supports in place as quickly as possible. She was able to refer for intensive in-home parent-child psychotherapy and this boy is now being seen by a therapist with his mother. Due to the intensity of his behaviors, a referral to a therapeutic nursery is in process, and it appears he will be accepted into this program soon. The MHC observed that the child was very difficult for his classmates as well as his teacher. She reported that the children intensely express their dislike for him and state flatly they don’t want to be near him. She feels deep concern for their distress and for his self-esteem. He perceives the dislike of his classmates and makes statement like, “I’m stupid”, or, “Nobody likes me”. Fortunately, a lot has, and is, being put into place to provide him with optimum support and to give him a chance to calm, regulate and hopefully to finally develop harmonious peer relationships. The therapeutic nursery should provide further wrap-around services to support the family. The staff felt deeply supported by the MHC’s persistence in getting these services in place. Again, the devastation of violence is being addressed here one child and one family at a time through the efforts of a caring staff.
The Link to Children — Mental Health Services for Ages 0-5
A mother brought her young (then 18 month old) son and herself to the Family Justice Center looking for help in securing resources to help them relocate, as well as to set up counseling after the child’s father’s rage became a threat to this mother and her child. The mother noted her tendency towards “flight” and discussed her own patterns of checking out and distancing herself from stressful circumstances by allowing her mind to drift off. Her young child, “Xavier,” appeared to have developed this particular coping style as well, and he had great difficulty communicating and asserting himself, often hiding behind his mother and becoming extremely fearful. As is very common with young children exposed to violence, he was also having trouble sleeping– demonstrating one of the many ways in which his physiological system had become compromised by chronic exposure to fear, leaving him unable to effectively regulate his biological rhythms. This mother found it quite challenging to stay emotionally present when her son needed her. As a result, Xavier learned to retreat more deeply into himself, allowing mother to do the same. As this pattern became increasingly clear, the therapist began to work with the mother on helping her to begin to notice when she felt herself beginning to check out. Mother and therapist began to note particular signs and clues that Xavier gave before he did the same thing. Because of the limited language processing abilities of a young child, much of their experience is stored in their bodies. The therapist helped the mother to utilize grounding techniques to help herself stay present, and physical techniques such as massage, foot-stomping, and clapping to help her son stay in his body and spend less time retreated into the recesses of his mind. Over the past year and a half, Xavier and his mother have made tremendous progress. The mother is now able to understand the impact of her emotional state on her child, and to be acutely aware of signs that her child is distressed. She has learned of ways to protect herself and Xavier from multiple generations’ maladaptive methods of coping with violence and stress. She and her son are starting fresh together.
Family Violence Law Center — Family Violence Intervention
“Erica” came to FVLC in January 2013 by way of a referral from another agency. Erica is an African-American, single mother, in her mid-twenties. She and her newborn son live in East Oakland. When Erica contacted FVLC, her primary concern was that the father of her child had served her with custody paperwork, and she was worried that he would begin to abuse her again during the exchanges. She was also concerned about safety and the confidentiality of her residence. The father of her child had been very abusive to her in the past, and the abuse began to decrease when she moved and he had less access to her. Though he still had her phone number and harassed her consistently via text, the client felt as though she was physically safe. The FVLC advocate completed a substantive safety plan with her and addressed all concerns, including the discussion of a restraining order. The client was hesitant about obtaining a restraining order, and was very concerned that obtaining an order would escalate her abuser further. While working with “Erica”, the abusers harassing texts became threatening, and “Erica” eventually decided that a restraining order was something that she needed and wanted. FVLC was able to help “Erica” obtain a 5-year restraining order, secure a meeting with and custody attorney from Bay Area Legal Aid, and enroll her in California’s Safe at Home Program, further ensuring that her address would be kept confidential.
Civicorps Schools – Young Adult Reentry Services
“Ruben” is an Oakland Unite participant who is currently on track to earn his High School Diploma in 2013. Ruben came to Civicorps with a number of barriers to his success – he struggled with following Civicorps policies including attendance and punctuality, behavior and following through with his educational commitment. After supporting him through various disciplinary actions, including a termination from the program, he has turned it around. After struggling with compliance of the conditions of his probation and picking up another case leading to incarceration, he has turned the corner. He has become more focused on his education and his positive behavior is noticed by staff and fellow Corps members. He received awards for monthly perfect attendance. Rubin is currently a crew leader and helps train new corps members. His field supervisor has come to rely upon his consistency and hard work.
Men of Valor Academy – Young Adult Reentry Services
“Lance” was admitted into the Academy on October 17, 2012, upon his release from Santa Rita. Prior to his arrival Director Butler received a letter of endorsement from a gang member who was also in Santa Rita. The author of the letter felt Lance was worth saving from the gang lifestyle and had the potential to be a productive citizen and could make some positive contributions to the community. Lance’s academic assessment scores were high and the GED instructor was impressed with his academic skills. Because of the academic skills Lance demonstrated and the diligence and perseverance he exhibited in his other classes and workshops, he signed up for the GED exam. In January 2013, the Oakland Unified School District administered the GED exam. Lance was officially notified of his passing scores on February 2, 2013. He received his highest mark in mathematics. He is currently enrolled in Merritt College as a full time student and has received virtually all A’s on his midterm tests and homework assignments. At this juncture Lance is preparing to obtain an AA degree and transfer to a four year institution. The academy is working on also placing him in a part time job opportunity.
Oakland Private Industry Council – Young Adult Reentry Services
“Daniel” is on probation for a multitude of crimes which would normally seriously impede his ability to find work. Daniel is what would be called a habitual offender. Daniel has a GED credential but tests out at a very high level of intelligence. Upon enrollment, Daniel was immediately put to work on the Key Train Assessment and Career Curriculum. His indicators of employment were high for construction, service work (particularly with the public), food and hospitality (particularly culinary), and oddly law enforcement. He completed our pre-employment workshops. He also completed a number of hours of work with a career counselor in Labor Market Research. He also attended and completed the Life Skills and Group Mentoring workshops. Daniel was very motivated to change his situation and enthusiastically participated in the program activities leading up to employment opportunities. Daniel was facing substantial time in the event of any re-offense and was about to become a father. His program participation has led to employment and to a deep understanding and commitment on his part to participate in the life of his newborn child. He has stated to his case manager at Oakland PIC that he is committed to raising his child to be a better person than he has been and to be the type of person that his “family can be proud of.” Daniel was originally placed through the Goodwill program. However, he actively continued his job search activities after placement and with positive references from both the Goodwill and also Breaking through Barriers Program, Daniel was placed with Souls Restaurant as a line cook, which was one of his chosen career fields. He went from making minimum wage at Goodwill to more than $10 / hr at Souls. However, Daniel was not done yet. He decided that while cooking is his passion, other career pursuits would more fully meet his fiscal responsibilities to his new family. He stated to his case manager that had he remained single and uncommitted as a parent, he would have remained in cooking. Instead, he secured employed in the construction field with Express Construction and is making a starting wage of $20/hr and working 40 hours per week. Each of these job pursuits was conducted while already working and in close association with his case manager and using the pre-employment skills he had been given to move easily from one job to another. Daniel’s engagement with the program has been an astounding success not only from the standpoint of successful employment but the changes he has made to his life choices and his ability to confidently re-employ himself in differing fields. Daniel has learned to use his intelligence and energy towards positive. Daniel is very thankful to the program and remains engaged in follow-up. Daniel has now brought in his wife to the employment training program of PIC to assist her when she has completed the newborn activities with her child.
Volunteers of America – Young Adult Reentry Services
“Burt” had been through much turmoil when he arrived at Crew Based; starting with his mom who lost her job at General Motors and ventured into drugs. Burt stepped into the role of “head of household” at age 16 and at age 24 was still desperately trying to take care of his mom, his sixteen year old sister and his four siblings; who’s ages ranged from three to seven. Once he became part of our program, he gained more confidence and with limited skills and abilities he focused hard on finding employment. It should be noted that he never lost his determination and did not allow his personal issues to hinder his job performance. His attendance, work ethics, and work performed were excellent. After trying for months he found permanent employment with Wal-Mart here in Oakland and is doing very well.
Youth Employment Partnership – Young Adult Reentry Services
Youth Employment Partnership (YEP) is working with “Franklin”, 19 years old who was raised and current stays in East Oakland and came to YEP without a high school diploma or GED. Franklin was on probation for robbery and had never worked before. His social skills were low and he seemed to lack confidence in himself. Aside from difficulty with his education, he had been impacted by violence because his brother was shot and killed by the police about 2 years ago. With some of these barriers mentioned above, Franklin still managed to work hard and finish our 3 week JRT (Job Readiness Training). Once completing JRT, he was placed in our GED program and started working at our Training Grounds Café. After completing a portion of work experience hours at the cafe, he wanted to transfer to construction and try out that type of work. Since his start of the program, Franklin has passed 3 GED tests and is currently taking an introductory college course at Laney College. Aside from moving forward in his education, he was recently hired on March 27, 2013 into a customer service job. This client still comes into our GED lab and is scheduled to take his final 2 GED test the last week of April.
Youth UpRising – Young Adult Reentry Services
“Greg” is a 23 year old male convicted for armed robbery and paroled in 2010. Greg entered our program disengaged from work and school with minimal motivation. Greg has been engaged in our program since October and now presents himself as motivated, supportive father, and has been discharged from parole. Greg now has an educational plan in place, recently passed the Science portion of the GED with a score of 470, and will be taking the remaining 4 tests over the next two months. Greg also has been working part-time at RMG Radio for the past two months, and now participates in on-air programming.
The Mentoring Center – Project Choice
The case study focuses on one Project Choice participant who was referred by the Alameda County Probation Department. The West Oakland resident, “David,” now 21 years old, was incarcerated in DJJ for the past five years. Upon his release, David came to the Mentoring Center’s Project Choice and shared his vision for becoming a horticulturalist. Through his politeness, good-natured, welcoming character, he was able to land employment with a temporary employment agency in East Oakland which led to a position where he is currently employed at the Port of Oakland. He recently achieved his 60 day retention milestone.
Volunteers of America — Project Choice
“Anthony,” 32 years of age, is a young African-American male with a self-declared history of alcohol and substance abuse as one of our successful participants this quarter because he has demonstrated a high degree of resiliency and has overcome many socioeconomic barriers including homelessness, unemployment and criminal behavior. In fact, when Anthony started Project Choice he was very skeptical and uncertain about the Project Choice experience, because so many programs in the past simply did NOT work for him. Client was assigned an intensive case manager who spent time with him and eventually developed a relationship with client. Not soon after, client regularly participated in our Wednesday night group classes in an effort to better understand his thinking errors, traps and triggers. Prior to coming to Project Choice, the client had served hard time in State prison and realized one day that the relentless conditions of prison were no longer an option and so he vowed to change his life. However, when he was released into the community of Oakland, he faced new challenges including homelessness, unemployment and the real possibility of returning to a life of crime. In spite of these setbacks, this client’s participation in Project Choice paid off because through his case manager and a strong referral system in Alameda County, Anthony was able to secure training through Goodwill as a part-time employee. Within a short period of time, he had proved that he was capable of accepting greater levels of responsibility and was subsequently promoted to full- time Supervisorial position within the organization. Also, through client’s hard work and commitment to change he earned himself a housing placement with OPRI. Today, he is currently renting his own 1 bedroom apartment in Oakland, California and has become a productive member of society.
Cal-PEP – Oakland Street Outreach Services
Case Study: Because CAL-PEP is a testing intervention their interaction with the clients is not necessarily ongoing and may be a onetime contact. However, they have had success with referring clients to other services. At one of event held at Lowell Park, 49 year-old “Betsy” received an HIV test. During her counseling session she shared concerns about her partner having other partners and her fear of contracting a disease. The counselor spent time with her role playing and negotiating safer sex techniques. The counselor offered her an appointment at CAL-PEP’s STD clinic and she accepted. After the session she felt empowered and asked for condoms. One week later this woman arrived for her clinic appointment along with her partner. Although her partner left before he could be seen by the doctor, she stayed and received STD testing.
Oakland California Youth Outreach – Oakland Street Outreach Services
“Rafael” had been in the streets by himself for a little over 12 months. Kicked out of school and hanging with a bad crowd, he realized he was slipping into a heavy drug addiction. A OCYO outreach worker was able to convince Rafael to hang out with the Team at a “Way Out” event. Rafael said that hearing mothers’ testimonies “woke his game up.” The crimes he was committing were not the way he saw his life. After a few weeks working with OCYO Rafael has moved back with his mom, he was just cleared at his DHP hearing and will return to school in January. His plan is to “stop gang banging” and join the Marines when he graduates next year. He is behind and knows his work is far from done but keeping a clear mind and good support system he will succeed.
Healthy Oakland– Oakland Street Outreach Services
“Derrick” became a case management client in November 2012. He was 16 yrs old and a referral from Probation via the Violence Prevention Network Coordinator, Kevin Grant. The Area Team Lead worked with him for a few days and then he was referred to a Case Manager. The Program Administrator worked with him to complete his 40 hrs of Community Service and then continued to work with him until March, 2013. Derrick is a very creative, artistic teenager who has trouble focusing in classroom setting or on anything that requires him to be stationary for too long. In March he was diagnosed as having ADHD. Our last few meetings were focused on referring him to a Community Arts program where he can get more involved in his artistic pursuits while working with youth from similar backgrounds. He now self-identifies as a “good kid who has difficulties focusing on schoolwork but not [with focusing] on his art.”
Catholic Charities of the East Bay – Crisis Response and Support Network
CCEB saw the integration of their multiple crisis response programs unite in the response to multiple homicides impacting West Oakland youth in the past few months. The tragedies began with the murder of Kiante Campbell at First Friday’s Art Murmur. Kiante had attended McClymonds High School and was well known by his peers. In addition to this, many McClymonds students attend Art Murmur and were nearby when Kiante was killed. Shortly after Kiante’s murder, another McClymonds High School graduate was killed in San Leandro. The Crisis Response team activated with OUSD’s team to strategize on school wide intervention. The following day, February 14, 2013, this collaborative provided grief and healing circles in each Advisory Class at McClymonds High School. CCEB’s Crisis Team continued to work with McClymonds High School staff and students, and got connected with the young man’s sibling. In addition to his brother, CCEB staff supported his close friends. Through grief and trauma interventions, in addition to restorative practices, these youth were able to receive appropriate support in their community from specialized staff. These efforts are grounded in CCEB’s Crisis Response and Support Network and enhance the depth of support being offered to Oakland’s youth.
Youth ALIVE! – Highland Hospital Intervention
“Carlos” is an 18-year-old Latino male who was shot in his side and back while in front of his Oakland home in August 2012 and admitted to Highland Hospital where he met one of Youth ALIVE!’s Intervention Specialists. Carlos was robbed by two young men and after he asked for the young men to return only his flash-drive with his school work, one of the young men shot him. Both men were people that Carlos had never seen before in his neighborhood or at his Oakland High School. Carlos was shot one week after starting his senior year of high school. Since Carlos was shot in front of his home, Carlos and his family wanted to move from their home. After Carlos left Highland Hospital, Carlos insisted that he return to his home and his uncle moved in with the family. The Intervention Specialist assisted the family in completing the Victims of Crime Compensation application to assist the family in paying for Carlos’ medical bills and to assist the family with relocation. Carlos was not comfortable leaving the home but was able to have teachers from his high school bring him school work because Carlos expressed his concerns about falling behind. Carlos still continued to struggle with post-traumatic-stress and struggled to complete his work. The Intervention Specialist spoke in great detail to Carlos about the effects of trauma and suggested that Carlos speak with someone regarding his feelings surrounding the incident. Carlos agreed and he was connected with the Youth ALIVE! Mental Health Clinician. The Clinician was able to provide weekly therapy for Carlos in his home and also connect with the family. She continued to conduct weekly therapy sessions in the home and Carlos was able to return to school. The Clinician also briefed school administration prior to Carlos returning to school so that students as well as teachers could receive Carlos well without creating distractions for him. After Carlos returned to school, the Intervention Specialist suggested to Carlos that he start working on his California Driver’s License (CDL) since he wanted to find a job. Carlos was able to find temporary jobs landscaping but nothing permanent. The Intervention Specialist helped Carlos study for his CDL and once he took Carlos to DMV, Carlos was able to pass the written test for his driving permit. Carlos is practicing driving with the Intervention Specialist and will soon take his behind-the-wheel test for his CDL. In early December 2012, Carlos began participating in the Young Men’s group facilitated by another Youth ALIVE! Intervention Specialist. The Young Men’s group focuses on decision-making, how to overcome challenges as men of color, and community related stressors. To date, Carlos continues to participate actively in the two-day per week Young Men’s group. Carlos has currently passed the California High School Exit Exam and has received enough high school credits to graduate. Carlos continues to attend school every day although Carlos is no longer required to do so. Carlos stated that he will continue to attend school until graduation unless he finds a job. Carlos and his family were approved for Victim of Crime Compensation, including relocation funds. Carlos’ mother is currently looking for housing outside of Oakland.
ALL NAMES ARE PSEUDONYMS TO PROTECT THE IDENTITY OF INDIVIDUALS