2016 in review:
At ARC, 2016 has been an inspiring year marked by significant growth, including an expansion of our programs and services and the opening of a second ARC office in Sacramento. As we prepare to build on this work in 2017, we wanted to update you on big steps we've taken over the past year to change lives and build healthier communities across California.
EXPANDING OUR REACH
On September 16th, ARC's Sacramento Office, located just a few blocks from the State Capitol, officially opened its doors with a launch event featuring addresses from Speaker of the California State Assembly Anthony Rendon, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and Chief of Sacramento County Probation Lee Seale. Since September, ARC Sacramento has served dozens of formerly incarcerated members with reentry services and is conducting regular trips to juvenile facilities in Northern California to support and mentor incarcerated youth.
FIRST SACRAMENTO FUNDRAISER
Sacramento Intern Esteban Nunez organized ARC's first Sacramento fundraiser, held on November 1st, which drew over 80 participants, including foundation partners, elected officials, leaders from the Sacramento County Probation Department, and ARC staff and members. The event raised nearly $50,000 to support ARC's work in the State Capitol.
SACRAMENTO JOB READINESS
In December 2016, ARC Sacramento launched its first Job Readiness Program with support from local business leaders and hiring managers from Paraguay restaurants, Hyatt Regency Sacramento, and several Starbucks stores. ARC Member David Rey will be running a workshop in conjunction with Dress for Success, to provide interview attire for Sacramento members.
GROWING OUR SERVICES
ARC counseling services
In July 2016, due to a generous donation from ARC’s Board of Directors, ARC hired its first Director of Counseling Services and began offering in-house therapy to members. ARC currently provides three types of counseling services: individual therapy, supplementary programming, and healthy relationships groups. Because reintegrating into society is a complicated process, these services help members transition more smoothly and develop healthier coping and relational skills. Below are brief descriptions of the new services provided:
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY addresses members' individual needs and goals. These sessions are useful for working on individual issues or concerns and can include learning ways to cope with anger, frustration, stress, disappointment, recovery, and/or transitional difficulties. Sessions are conducted by ARC's Director of Counseling Services, along with three USC MSW graduate student volunteers.
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS GROUPS are therapy-style counseling groups that meet weekly. Each week a new topic for discussion is addressed, including gender roles, boundaries, relationship support, and effective communication with others, depending on the needs of the group. Building and maintaining healthy relationships is essential to members’ overall wellbeing.
ARC's current SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAM is a weekly yoga class. Instruction is provided by USC volunteers. These classes help with improving mindfulness, which helps reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improving flexibility and mind-body awareness.
magnolia HOUSING PROGRAM
In September 2014, ARC opened its pilot housing program in Sylmar, CA through a partnership with Los Angeles Mission College to provide stable housing, combined with reentry services and educational support to 20 ARC members. Since then, we've served 42 members through the program and have increased the program to 38 beds.
This month, a little over two years later, we're excited to announce the opening of our new Magnolia Housing Program! Located in Koreatown and developed through a partnership with Los Angeles Trade Technical College, ARC’s Magnolia Housing Program will serve an additional 22 ARC members, bringing the total number of housing beds to 60.
Watch the video below by California Forward to learn more about ARC's housing model.
STRENGTHENING OUR VOICES
MEMBER & STAFF APPOINTMENTS
In addition to its direct policy advocacy efforts, ARC works to ensure that the voices of system-involved young people are included on local and state committees. We're thrilled to report that in late 2016, Governor Jerry Brown appointed two ARC members and one staff member -- Kent Mendoza, Ramon Leija, and Miguel Garcia -- to Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The SACJJDP promotes effective juvenile justice policies and programming in compliance with goals set forth in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
Kent, who serves as ARC's Community & Member Relations Coordinator, is a student at East Los Angeles College and previously worked at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Ramon has volunteered as a reserve firefighter and emergency medical technician at the Riverside County Fire Department since 2016 and has volunteered as a youth mentor at the Regional Access Project Foundation’s Coachella Valley Youth Leadership Mentoring Project since 2014. Miguel Garcia is a student at the University of California, Riverside and has worked as a legal assistant since 2016.
Sam Lewis, who is ARC’s Senior Member Services Manager Serves has been appointed to serve on two committees - the BSCC Executive Steering Committee for California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention (CALGRIP) and the Los Angeles Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment and Equity.
The California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (CalGRIP) Program provides grant funding to cities that commit to using a local collaborative approach to support prevention, intervention and/or suppression activities. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity, an alliance of private and public sector employers committed to providing opportunities for people who have been historically excluded from upwardly-mobile jobs. And they also suggest new policies to city leaders to help the formerly incarcerated.
Congratulations Kent, Ramon, Miguel, and Sam!