Return to Justice Advisory Council [remote]
Live reporting by Hera Shakir
View on Twitter

No Place to Stay transitional reentry housing, Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Initiative, ARPA, Rental assistance, Domestic violence intervention

Hi, I'll be live tweeting the Justice Advisory Board Meeting which is titled "Cook County Board &Forest preserve Board Meeting Live Stream" @CHIdocumenters @city_bureau #ChiDocumenters

08:21 AM May 12, 2023 CDT

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Here is the agenda for the meeting
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Avik Das has said that the council has started in 2022 with 5 members and they now have 17 members. They are looking to have a "full house" of 25 by the end of the fiscal year.
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Please disregard the first tweet that said the meeting is also named "Cook County Board & Forest preserve Board Meeting Live stream"
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New members include Heba Baker who will be helping to write start up grants and Doug Meier who has written grants for Native Americans in Illinois and also for the Alamo.
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Main focuses of the meeting include providing rental assistance for individuals who are in the reentry program.
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Laura Grossman - "The JAC is co leading this effort with the public defender's office to expand the first time weapon offender essentially allows people with a first time non-violent gun possession charge to..
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...participate in a probation program rather than having a mandatory prison charge which we fully promote"
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Ryan Gougis - "We've also gotten the State's Attorneys Association to support it, as well as the State's Riffle Association is also in support of expanding [it] you really have two organizations that...never agree on's good policy."
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Laura Grossman - "we are continuing our work with the racial equity with internal Justice system representatives from different criminal justice offices in Cook County because of racial desparities and work towards solutions. "
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Faith Hong - "The no place to stay and facilitate housing and beds for participants for...who do not have a place to stay"
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The no place to stay program works with the sherrifs department. The JAC pays for the beds. And the sheriff's department may or may not decline the participants.
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Faith Wong - "from 2021 to 2022,....we placed 2000 people into housing. 1500 males, 90 females, and...transgender identifying participants."
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Zack from St Leonard's ministries is now presenting on the partnership with JAC
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Zack has stated that 2/3 of the people that work for St. Leonard's have been incarcerated in their lives. Some have gone through the st. Leonard's program and some have not. So they can provide a wholistic approach to their programming by understanding what people are enduring.
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St Leonard's wants their residents to "slow down". They prefer individuals not be employed when they come in so they can take time to think about where they are going and to be prepared for life in employment.
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Chris Roach (st. Leonard's alumni) - " another support that we have is permanent supportive housing opportunity."
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Zack - "individuals that come to us they have the opportunity to work through that transitional housing program of 9 to 12 months and if they are able to transition to st. Andrews corridor. Harvest commons, they can either be there for another couple of years...
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"...and I think on average is probably 2 to 3 years and they are looking to kind of outgrow that studio apartment. Or they can stay for the long term."
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Zack has said the longest term a resident has stayed right now is 22 years.
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Ivory snow from St. Leonard's says residents go through workforce and educational center. The kitchen manager is an award winning chef, there is a 10 week culinary arts program which is taught by the award winning chef. Many graduates of the program ask others to call them chef
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Ivory Snow also mentions that there is also a program which is 14 weeks to finish their high school completion certificate.
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Ivory snow - "the kitchen manager is a trained chef,...we call our kitchen cooks chef. The food on our's like you're at a 5 star gives our community feel like...the best you deserve..."
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Ivory Snow also mentions with great pride that participants have left other programs and have mentioned that those programs promised some things but it was just "lip service" and the participants feel much better about the program at St. Leonard's.
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Justice Hyman - "to Zack, Chris, and Ivory, you're inspiring. Congradulations on everything you're doing." He then asks if they had a wish list, what would be one or two items near the top of their wish list.
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Zack responded " you know funding is always an issue...some of our bigger challenges right now...are dealing with the increase in fentanyl and other substance abuse crises. I think it takes a toll on our participants. And just kind of the longer term continued support..."
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Justice Hyman, after checking in with the rest of the meeting members adjourns the meeting.