Have you heard the term disconnected youth? That is the latest sociological term for youth between the ages of 16-24 who are either not in any school or are unemployed. So they are disconnected from educational and employment opportunities and really disconnected from achieving their goals and dreams. So many of the youth we work with in the jails and juvenile center have dropped out of school and have not been working.
Then when Jermil or Noah or Candice return to the community they need to be reconnected. This could be anything from going back to their public school, finding an alternative high school, a good GED program, or a job training program. One of our ways to assist these kids is to be the person in the middle who connects them to what they need next.
Last month we connected Sam to an employer who was able to hire him for a full time job. Two years ago we had ministered to Tabitha who had spent 6 months at the Detention Center. We hadn’t heard from her in a long time but out of the blue she calls us with a renewed excitement to complete her GED. We were able to connect her to a brand new GED program that specializes in helping students similar to Tabitha and she was delighted to get the extra help. Just last week, John gets a call from Tyrone and Davon who want help getting into the job market. They had only been released in the last couple of weeks after serving about 12 months. John was able to meet up with them and (yes, once again) connect them to Maryland New Directions where they encountered not one or two but at least 4 encouraging staff people who are all anxious to see Tyrone and Davon succeed.
We have also connected youth to:
- Twelve step programs
- Employment services
- Construction job training
unCUFFED is committed to ministering to youth when they are at their moment of crisis when they are locked up .Many of the youth contact us when they return to the community because of the trusting relationships that were established on the “inside”. We are encouraged to be able to provide some re-entry services and believe that we can provide even more when we are able to increase our budget.