On Sat., May 2nd, St. Leonard’s Ministries was honored to have Mayor Richard Daley as the keynote speaker for the Graduation of its high school completion program. In addition to words of congratulation and encouragement for graduates, the Mayor spoke of the need for Chicagoans to help individuals as they move forward with their attempts to successfully re-enter our communities after time spent in prison. “Everyone,” the Mayor said, “deserves a second chance.”
A New Bus! Thanks to the generosity of a Chicago-based company, The Parking Spot, St. Leonard’s Ministries has its own bus parked on campus and ready for use. The 18 passenger vehicle will carry groups of program participants from all four SLM sites to activities, work related outings and trips that might be a part of their successful reentry into the community. This item has long been on the SLM “Wish List” and SLM is grateful to Martin Nesbitt, President of The Parking Spot, and Dr. Toni Irving, SLM Board Member elect, for moving this wish to reality.
Through a Customized Employment grant from the Workforce Services Division of Chicago’s Dept. of Family and Support Services, culinary arts efforts at the Barlow Center will expand to include customer service, barista training and applied culinary skills. This later component will provide transitional employment opportunities for some of the students who have completed the Barlow Center’s Basic Culinary Arts Class.
Michael Agnew, SLM’s Artist in Residence, spent two months working on a Theater Workshop residency program at SLM sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council. This program culminated on April 23 with a performance by Grace House, St. Leonard’s House and St. Andrew’s Court residents as writers and star performers.
A few year’s ago, Mayor Daley convened a Caucus Group to focus on a variety of re-entry questions in Chicago. Each group drew up recommendations in published reports. As with any such reports, the test is in the actualization of recommendations with the passage of time. Recently, both groups have reconvened to form the Collaboration on Reentry. The goal of the Collaboration is to revisit previous recommendations, assess their effect and to move forward with additional concerns. Continue »