I read these, all of them. It took what felt like a long time, but was only a few minutes. I tried to sound out their names and have only their names in my head, and found I thought of men I know whose names are like the names of those who died wrongfully convicted, and as much as I tried to hold only the names in my head, I could not help but to notice that the time it takes to read their names is *nothing* to the time stolen from lives and families. Thank you for the invitation to *know* and to honor and to feel a small call to justice as I sat on my porch alone, reading names.
So, here I am – the night before I leave, after a day of working. Yes. Working. After working a lot this weekend, and not even planning on being at work this week at all. my auto-reply went live on Monday. Shenanigans and bullshittery in the non-profit sector, the Human Resources strain that leaves me to do work on weekends when I don’t even earn pto anymore.
I like the grant projects I’m working on though – and this whole little era has been about me realizing that the work I do has to be aligned with my ethics, because there are things that are too important to set aside or compromise. I’m working on a project that would put money into underresourced communities while also building capacity and gathering qualitative data.
Here are some edited docs from the week:
This project utilizes participatory action organizing practices and community investment principles to build the capacity of community networks through the organizing of recovery workshops and resource fairs, while providing opportunities for existing and developing community-based leaders and people in recovery to earn income for their work as project service learning interns.
To build local community capacity, interns will be provided support in organizing community workshop events and resource materials for their communities through a structured training and internship program which will provide quality education and skill-building opportunities in areas relating to advocacy, recovery support, and community organizing.
Community organizer interns will be paid a living-wage stipend for a period of service defined and will be recruited by project coordinators to participate as part of a cohort which will go through an orientation and training process that includes listening sessions with project interns to learn more about community experiences and needs, workshops in recovery advocacy through -, and training in advocacy and community organizing in partnership with –
Community-organized events will held at diverse, accessible community locations and will be offered at no cost to community members. Community inquiry methods and processes to gather qualitative data will be integrated into this project at every phase, as we are committed to both giving under-resourced communities a voice and learning more about community needs and perceptions of assets.
Project Goals and Objectives
This project supports a recovery community building capacity strategy to learn more about and to address known community challenges related to access to resources and social determinants of health in rural, semi-rural, and under-resources communities within -, -, and – counties.
This project seeks to provide opportunities to existing and emerging community leaders to earn wages through gaining skills and experience in areas that may support expanded local capacity to address local challenges related to social determinants of health, while simultaneously providing an immediate resource to their communities, and building capacity in the process through the utilization of community-based participatory action research methods.
Qualitative data will be gathered throughout the project’s implementation process, and opportunities for project staff, interns, community members, and community partners to share feedback and reflections on experience and suggestions will be created through brief listening sessions, semi-structured interviews, and/or focus groups. Methodology will be developed in collaboration with community members and will be structured in such a way as to ensure community engagement and participation. This project focuses on learning more about how communities are coping with the complex challenges that exist at the intersection of poverty, addiction, trauma, and justice involvement, and what communities are currently doing to support one another and try to create positive change.
We want to learn more about how people experience the “gaps” in the system of care, and the impact that lack of access to appropriate services and basic needs resources has on their lives and their needs as people in recovery and community members, while also learning more about what helps people to work together and how is recovery community capacity being built in different communities.
This project will:
offer quality, cost-free recovery skills and resources workshops in diverse, accessible community locations (3 workshops per county, 9 workshops)
invest in the community by providing living wage stipended short-term service learning internships to existing and emerging community leaders which will include training in recovery advocacy, and community organizing offered by – and – . 3 internships in each community workshop location, 27 internships @ 500.00 per intern)
Create specific volunteer opportunities for at least 3 people in each workshop location (27 volunteers)
Gather, compile and report qualitative data on social determinants of health, perception of needs and resources, and experiences within the system of care
This is another one I am working on:
While there are quality – services and robust Programs resources available to those housed at the (jail), the need for support among clients still sometimes exceeds the capacity to:
– coordinate post-release resources and program placements
– plan for continued recovery post-release
– assist the individual post-incarceration in navigating services and program access that may be a requirement of community supervision or which may be important in addressing recovery needs
The developing project would involve the creation of a part time or full time peer support specialist position for the duration of the funding period and could include funding for materials printing cost, transportation access (bus tickets, limited transport funds, mileage reimbursement for peer transport of individuals in the program), and other funds as they may be identified by – and – and Programs as to what might be helpful to have additional funding for in the serving of women in recovery at the (jail).
The peer support specialist hired by this program would work with (jail) housing staff and – services staff, as well as Programs, to identify female clients who may need additional support and who demonstrate a strong motivation to remain in recovery post-release from incarceration and who may benefit from additional support in the areas noted above.
The peer support specialist would, additionally, provide a regularly scheduled group that is complementary to other programs currently available, such as a “Peer Support Recovery Skills and Resource Navigation Group” which would include opportunities to plan for Recovery post-release and also provide concrete information on available programs and resources for justice-involved people in recovery.
For the purpose of learning more about how to meet the complex recovery needs of justice involved women in recovery in – County, semi-structured interviews with a small sample of program participants will be conducted quarterly to gauge program efficacy, learn more about perceived unmet needs, and identify additional systemic barriers to accessing recovery support for the purpose of addressing these barriers collaboratively with community stakeholders.
Time in recovery (“clean time”) and engagement in making positive changes (employment, housing, healthcare, family stability, reduced recidivism) in one’s life post-incarceration will be included in program performance measures. This data will be collected by weekly ‘check in’ survey and semi-structured interview conducted by program staff.
In developing this project proposal, things we would want to consider would be project proposal approval by jail and project support/collaboration agreements between -, jail, and -.
The peer hired by this project would be female-identifying individual in long-term recovery with lived experience of Justice Involvement, preferably within the – County justice system.
I wanted to take a minute to check in with you about a topic that came up in the (jail unit) group this morning.
Some of the participants expressed that they had had a difficult time with some of the things that had been happening on the unit.
They expressed these difficulties as part of our regular check-in process, and were reporting more on their experience and personal difficulties around certain situations and ways they are trying to cope than they were ‘complaining’ or speaking negatively about any specific individual.
As part our (practice) work, we talked with the guys about self-advocacy and ways to be effective in addressing concerns, and I asked them about whether there was a way for them to appropriately voice these concerns.
The perception expressed was that while there is a grievance process, it is difficult to get the forms and that grievances do not ‘go out of housing.’ It was also expressed by several participants that they worried about negative consequences if they were to make a grievance.
What I am wondering about is how we should respond to these questions of appropriate recourse for grievances?
The feedback shared by some of the guys was pretty insightful and they were respectful in speaking about their concerns.
Is there a channel for them to appropriately and effectively (effective in the sense of their grievances being reviewed and the problems experienced potentially being considered by (jail) leadership) share their experiences and concerns?
How would you like us to handle it when group participants express that they are experiencing grievances?
Thanks so much for your time in considering this!
Thanks so much for following up on this last week. Hope this week has started well.
Quick question to consider:
I am a member of the (grant) Community Engagement workgroup. They are planning to hold listening sessions in the (jail). I would like to ask them to consider creating an opportunity for residents of the (jail) to write down their experiences to share with the (grant)workgroups, to create access to the opportunity to participate in the process of getting feedback from the community as part of (grant) activities.
This would be a structured, formal feedback form, with open ended questions and the option of including additional feedback on a provided page. I would then review, summarize/analyze and report back on the qualitative data gathered through (grant) feedback forms.
This is something I would need (jail) approval on prior to bringing it to the (grant) folks to consider.
Thanks for thinking about it!
And also this, with my daughter:
Kitchen Prep and Food Service @ VOICES
Inventory of food
Make plan for cooking, delegate food tasks
Prep work (washing, cutting, put on water to boil, preheat over)
Look at vegan and gf options – make plan
Get out pots and pans that are needed, gather needed tools (cutting boards, knives, spatulas, stirring spoons)
Cook slow foods first ( meat, potatoes )
Set up ice water
Set up coffee area ( with cream and sugar and mugs, spoons or stirrers, napkins)
Silverware, napkins, plates, trays out
Label table with food items
Put out food in order that makes sense
Have serving utensils – keep non-vegan non-gf utensils separate
Make the food look appealing ( fluff, stir )
Clean as we go
Delegate cleaning tasks
Dishes w/ Hobart
Dishes in sink (pots, pans, cutting boards, non-Hobart items)
Clean up prep and serving tables
Help put away/pack up food
…and also practice and movement and relationship and a whole other wing of projects relating to dialogue re: climate and mental health and also another project re: movement accountability…and being a mother/steward, and getting ready to go out of town, and being really, really happy to be alive and to have a life I want to keep growing in and coming back to.
It’s one of those weeks though that I forget about books and I forget about stories and I only notice the poetry of things in small glimpses. Though I did, let me not forget, make the little cards. I have felt very open hearted and present lately, and that tells me I am moving in the right direction.
I mean, obviously these are just drafts. I was thinking a second ago about how the organization I work for, under my advisement and their own wisdom, opted not to act as a fiduciary for a project that – no joke – had 35,000 budgeted for a 200.00 per hour project manager to work 4 hours a week. 😂🤣🤣
That’s insane. I make 18 dollars an hour, even though I work hard and do extremely good work and have a masters and used to be a genius or something. I wonder sometimes if the places I work are exploiting me, or if I am complicit in my own exploitation, and think about how if I put the heart and brain power that I give to them to slightly different projects, maybe I’d be more effective in maximizing my personal contribution and would have far fewer shenanigans and bullshittery to contend with because I could choose who I work with and how I work and not be constantly jerked around by other people’s business, their falterings becoming my responsibility. On the weekend. For 18 dollars an hour. 🤨
At least these projects that i am working on hit a few of the marks I am aiming to hit, and – if they get funding – would be interesting to work on in some limited and well-boundaried way – project coordination, development, the research and organizing facilitation. I am good at that work. I like it when I can get paid to talk with people and listen to them.
They are good projects. It’d be cool to work on open source public health project models that are affordable funded and effective in several different areas. I like learning about these processes of humans trying to create change and healing with one another, community building. So much amazing work being done around all the different ways people work together to solve problems.
…such a researcher.
I wish I could get paid to watch clouds and research symbols. Write haiku and draw pictures, dig in the dirt and walk around, talk to strangers, take pictures of the seeds inside the Apple.
Haha, that is definitely one of my dream jobs…
I guess I’m going to get some sleep since tomorrow I go west.
Sometimes the things I say are really dumb. I’m so lucky. I don’t know if thing about real exploitation. Furthermore, shenanigans and bullshit every are often gives an invitation for me to get over myself. Let me not forget that.
Sometimes, the things I say are really dumb. I am so lucky. I don’t know a thing about real exploitation.
Furthermore, shenanigans and bullshit Marie are often gifts and invitations for me to get over myself. Let me not forget that.
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