Jobs… Cure to Drugs, Homelessness and Crime?
It can be hard to make the connection between helping ex-offenders transition into fully participating citizens in society without grumbling about the cost that falls on taxpayers, but the benefits for everyone can be huge. Without sounding too much like a communist, I would like to suggest that it seems in everyone’s best interest to help each other succeed and find a way to function as a part of society. When each individual is successful it would be pretty hard to fail as a whole- why is it that we Americans have such a hard time with Solidarity?… Anyways, helping people fold themselves back into society is just what the Doe Fund seeks to do. Whether it is ex-offenders or the homeless, services that prepare these individuals to re-enter and remain in society have proved extremely successful and has benefitted NY in a big way. Less desperation = less crime = less victimization. This line of thinking is captured by The Doe Fund principle that every human being has the potential to be a contributing member of society.
The founder of The Doe Fund George McDonald says “he believes that a job, any job, builds dignity and confidence and leads to better opportunities.” On October 30th, they will host the 14th annual gala “What New York Needs” where the well known Co-Anchor of NBC’s Today show Matt Lauer will be the Master of Ceremonies. Other well known affiliations include fashion designer Steven Madden who has given Doe Fund graduate (and former inmate of six and a half years) Willie Moore a chance in his company as a shoe designer-in-training! Willie told Jet Magazine in an interview, “Keep believing in yourself. Don’t stop. If you keep going, believe me, someone will find you. I got found. I kept going. The American dream is as real as you make it.” Moore isn’t the only one to reach success through the program, highlighted on The Doe Fund site is short bios about many in New York that have been helped.
This upcoming fundraising event is one of many ways the organization is supported and the fact that this organization is in the private sector has not held back the support or attention of government officials. Earlier this year Representative Carloyn Maloney with the help of other NY members of Congress including Brooklyn’s Ed Towns and Anthony Weiner successfully directed $564,000 in Federal funds to the non-profit. Because this program targets a demographic made up largely of men, the success of the efforts trickle down to any dependents that may also be involved. This program has the potential to transform entire communities. It offers people a way to help themselves make a new life which allows them to leave a life of drugs, crime and homelessness behind which seems to be the best kind of community activism, one that accomplishes both empowerment and reduces negative aspects in the community.