When I was invited to join as an advisor to Food21 on workforce development I was reminded of how food insecurity affects post-incarceration adults. I have spoken about how many men and women resort to crime many times because of food insecurities. I am engaged with this population to not only address violence, but to address the many barriers a man and women face, which is why I choose to run the type of programs I am involved in. Being involved in Food 21 will only increase the success of my work as well as assisting Food 21.
For the past thirty years I have worked closely with gang leaders and gang involved youth around being productive citizens. As a result of the closeness, I've had over the years with many young men and women, I've been involved in some major truces amongst gang members in both the city and county.
As we work on violence prevention, we anticipate working with re-turning citizens, by getting them trained in an Apprenticeship Readiness Program, sanctioned by the National Building Trades Union. We believe that re-entry starts when someone enters prison, not when they get out. By supplying this training it gives men and women an opportunity to enter into a union apprenticeship of their choice. This is a project that we hope to end recidivism, with all the partners we have willing to give people a second chance.
I am also coordinating the GRIPS project at the Graduate school, GRIPS = Gun-Shot Recurring Intervention Prevention Services, for gun-shot wound victims that come into the four major trauma units here, (Presby, Mercy, Children's, and Allegheny General. This is a research project in hopes to stop recidivism. We were funded to do outreach services to the youth and adults affected by the disease of violence throughout the Mon-valley. We have taken a true Public health approach to the disease of violence. Four factors Our life coaches work to interrupt the transmission of the disease of violence, the second thing we do is refer clients to other agencies to treat the disease, through our partners, the third aspect of this disease is in many of our communities after a shooting or homicide silence is throughout the community, with our partnership with Focus Pittsburgh and the trauma van shows up in the community to address the trauma, people begin to talk this is one way we begin to change community norms, back to our life coaches through this intervention we work to stop the future spread of the disease.