Most business and legal reports indicate that careers in this field will continue to grow over the next 20 years, placing a demand on this nation such that, people are being recruited abroad to fulfill employment here in the United States. The overall poverty rate and the incidence of poverty remain high, during uncertainties and sluggish economy. The average poverty rate for California remains in double digits, along with the housing crisis. Often times, people are turned away for services because they do not meet certain company profiles or criteria. VVCDC recognizes that many community members are on, or have been on probation or parole; disadvantaged youth; homeless; and the long term unemployed. The lack of education leads to disparate measures, hopelessness, and poverty. College is a choice that many have not considered until the latter years of life.
According to the latest corrections figures, for the first time in U.S. history, one (1) out of every one hundred (100) adults are in prison.
According to the associated press report of February 28, 2008, the prison population has reached 2,319,258 inmates at the start of 2008. Whether on probation or parole, someone, walking through these doors may have been incarcerated at some point. Eight (8) years later, according to Wikipedia, “at the end of 2016, the Prison Policy Initiative estimated that in the United States, about 2,298,300 people were incarcerated out of a population of 324.2 million. This means that 0.7% of the population was behind bars. Of those who were incarcerated, about 1,316,000 people were in state prison, 615,000 in local jails, 225,000 in federal prisons, 48,000 in youth correctional facilities, 34,000 in immigration detention camps, 22,000 in involuntary commitment, 11,000 in territorial prisons, 2,500 in Indian Country jails, and 1,300 in United States military prisons. Vocational training or work programs for this population is a challenge for our community. Recognizing the influence of drugs in crime, more efforts should be placed on expanding drug abuse treatment. Many communities are plagued with a number of high-risk groups. All of the factors named in this narrative are symptoms of this South Los Angeles. To say that our focus is going to be on one group is difficult to divide. However, it is our intent to deal with the former gang members, long term unemployed, and parolees at certain levels of risk and youth seeking for a change n life. Homelessness, lack of education, recreational and community centers, violence in our communities, schools, and parks have been chronic problems for decades. Trauma exposed families and workers, poor relations with law enforcement, mental health issues and many other disorders in our community. Foster youth becoming homeless, families not able to maintain the family units, youth being victims of a system that hands out felonies, rather than diversion programs.
2019, the picture today for this community; is such that many people have been or currently are under some type of supervision or assistance, and therefore the dilemma for VVCDC becomes “how to” assimilate people back into the mainstream via the work force or education, after welfare for a number of years, homeless, on S S I, general relief, and/or long prison terms? Housing and rents out of control, the lack of affordable housing for every segment of the population.
Re-entry services, and felony friendly employers are not the most favorable subjects of today, but impossible to avoid or ignore when the above mentioned groups are encountered. We lack full service resource centers that can provide all the support services needed. We must do better and considered how to address these populations that exist in and around the Vermont/Manchester area of South Los Angeles.