Board Member Corner
Janice Boles- Real Estate Investor/ Consultant, Licensed Realtor, Co-Owner
B. Premier Ventures Residential Land Development
“ The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others” Mahatma Gandhi
This quote stands true particularly during this season of awareness and continued united support for mankind. Today, we are living during heightened times full of disparity, unforgiveness, and judgement. Too often, the majority are overlooked or not allowed opportunities because of past poor decisions and mistakes. Forgiveness seems to be a foreign act not easily performed. I have members within my own family that have been subjected to scrutiny by society which is why I am truly honored to have partnered with this wonderful organization, Failsafe-ERA, which believes in raising awareness within the community of the needs of returning citizens and their families. The breaking down of barriers that women and men often face with criminal records is what led me to support the vision of our Founder, CEO, Juanita Shanks in 2009.
The month of May marks the remembrance of service (Memorial Day holiday) in the U.S. as we honor the men and women who have died while serving within our Armed Forces. Memorial Day is recognized on the last Monday of the month in May. This day was originally known as Decoration Day in the years following the Civil War but became an official Federal holiday in 1971. Since 1949, Mental Health America and other affiliates such as NAMI has led the observance of establishing May as Mental Health Month. The spotlight is to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and stop the stigma associated with mental illness. Stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart from others. When a person is faced with being labeled because of their illness, it is often even more difficult for the individual to cope due to low self-esteem, shame, hopelessness, and stereotype from others.
Is mental health & wellness support needed for our returning citizens? The answer is yes! Let’s face it, most men and women who enter into the prison system previously faced some sort of trauma, abuse, and/or emotional challenges that were never addressed. Imagine those same issues reservicing even greater while serving a prison sentence and after being released. Its like an open wound never healing. There is a great need to better address the mental state of formerly incarcerated individuals in which I believe will enhance their coping and survival skills while trying to adapt back into normalcy. Mandatory support via mental health screening, counselling and support groups should be a requirement of post release and parole.
As a Mental Health Advocate, I had the distinct opportunity as a Featured Speaker, to share my personal journey of perseverance through grief, anxiety and depression to an audience of over 100 women and men at the A Woman’s Narrative Summit in Paris France on May 10, 2019! I, along with a host of other, beautiful, dynamic women, shared our stories of overcoming while becoming thru trial and tribulation. It was such an honor to have an opportunity to share my testimony of encouragement while advocating against the stigma associated with mental health internationally!
“You can’t tell just by looking at someone what they are dealing with inside”
Corner of Inspiration
Thank you Ms. Ann Kloeckner of Legal Aid Works for sharing with us information on Expungements and Restoration of Rights on April 18, 2019
MON, MAY 13
Thank you Janice Boles and CTI for the awesome opportunity to participate on your leadership panel to share my experiences.
With the unemployment rate of returning citizen oftentimes reaching an excess of 27 percent, FailSafe-ERA has had the fortunate opportunity to partner with the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) to combat these high numbers. to Right Road Job Training and Placement Program is a 40-hour cognitive-behavioral, skills-building program. Once this initial portion of the training is completed, the participants receive flagger training and consequent certification. Once certified they are referred to an ATSSA member company for an employment opportunity as highway safety zone worker. During the first week of April, 10 students enrolled and completed the initial training class. Thus far four of the participants have been employed as highway safety zone workers, and one has started her own cleaning business.
Itʼs that time of year again where the Interfaith Council holds their annual School Dress Day. This will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1710 Bragg Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 on July 26th & 27th 2019.
School Dress Day for the last 30 years has supplied Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George and Fredericksburg K5-12th students with clothes, shoes, backpacks loaded with school supplies and toiletries that had a need.
Failsafe-ERA, in partnership with the Interfaith Council, is providing toiletries for girls & boys for the annual school dressing day. Last year a little over 1200 children had their needs met. We would really appreciate your help in supplying those toiletries. The items we are providing are toothbrushes, toothpaste, bars of soap and deodorants for both girls and boys.
If you desire you may purchase those items or make a donation. All items can be dropped off before July 2, 2019 at the Failsafe-ERA offices in the Rappahannock Goodwill building, 4701 Market street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22408.
Failsafe-ERA Prison Ministry Open House
Saturday June 1, 2019
Rappahannock Goodwill Industries
Jun 01, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, 4701 Market St A, Fredericksburg, VA 22408, USA
An opportunity to learn first hand about the mission of Failsafe-ERA and how we support the incarcerated, returning citizens and our community.
Equipping Children of Incarcerated Parents (ECHIPS) Workshops – made possible with support from Youth in Philanthropy of the Community Foundation.
The ECHIPS program teaches children social and emotional strategies where they can better cope with the challenges brought on by the situation that they are experiencing. The specific trauma informed interventions include, psychoeducation about trauma, strategies for identifying distressing and irrational thinking and behavior; relaxation techniques; cognitive reframing, and emotion regulation skills.
Parents can sign children up to attend at https://www.failsafe-era.org/ECHIPS
IT’S OUR 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
10 Year “Center of Hope” Fundraiser Gala and 5th Annual Scholarship Program
Preventing Generations of Incarceration
August 24, 2019
Fredericksburg Expo Center
Social/Vendor Visits/Silent Auction: 6:00 PM
Dinner Program: 7:00 PM
Fredericksburg Mayor Katherine Greenlaw
ATSSA Vice President of Member Services
(Second Chance Employer)
Associate Director of Offender Servcies
Early bird registration: $65
Regular price after June 15: $75
Click here for more information on sponsorship and vendor opportunities: https://www.failsafe-era.org/events
Thank you ATSSA for being a Silver Sponsor and Johnny and Donna Clark for being a Bronze Sponsor