SUSO 2018-2019 Planning Session | Sun, Sept. 23, 11:30am | Youth Classroom
Over the summer, SUSO members have been reaching out to various organizations and groups to learn more about where and how we might be of service both within the church as well as in the Greater Hartford community. Please mark your calendars as all are welcome to attend this meeting where the SUSO Planning Team share some of the ideas and events that we have been exploring as well as solicit your input, to create a workable and meaningful plan for putting our faith into action.
Meeting with Community Partners in Action (CPA)
On Friday, July 27, members of the SUSO Planning Team and other AHCC members met with CPA program and operations staff to learn more about how we can help with their returning citizens programs.
While we were impressed with the many beneficial programs CPA offers, such as a prison art program, substance abuse programs, and resettlement and residential programs in the community, we were especially struck to learn of the incredible immediate hardship that many of the more than 1,000 returning citizens per year face upon release from prison when they are dropped off at 6:00am on Lafayette or Washington Street in Hartford, with no money or even a bus pass.
If these returning citizens do not have relatives or friends to meet them who can immediately provide them with basic necessities, they will have no way to get to a shelter or to get something to eat.
CPA, together with the City of Hartford and several local and state social service agencies, has been working to address this issue by changing the way people are released. Through a three-year $450,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, CPA will be opening a Welcome Center at Hartford City Hall, where returning citizens will be dropped off and can speak with service providers who can assess their needs and offer both short-term assistance as well as participation in longer-term programs.
One volunteer possibility for SUSO is to form a team to welcome returning citizens to the Center, offering a caring presence while they wait to meet with those who will assist them in establishing a re-entry action plan. Other opportunities to be considered include helping with technology or financial literacy, obtaining passes to cultural activities, donating bus passes, and preparing a list of church thrift shops for clothing and household items.
SUSO faith & Justice Summer Film Series
Finally, we wish to thank all of those who attended the SUSO Faith and Justice summer film series. The diversity in backgrounds and ethnicities of the audience members in attendance provided the basis for very meaningful and in-depth discussions for each of the films. We hope to continue offering thought-provoking and topical films again next summer.