Photos courtesy Taylor Street Center
Formerly incarcerated people are making a difference now that they are home by participating in several community service projects.
In 2017, former long-term offenders (commonly referred to as “lifers”) now participating in the Parolee Service Center (PSC) and Transitional Housing Program (THP) at the Taylor Street Center in San Francisco played a large part in organizing and participating in these programs. These men and women were found suitable for parole by the Board of Parole Hearings and are now transitioning back into their communities.
As a group, the program volunteered monthly with the City Clean Team program, which uses volunteers from the community to clean in a different neighborhood every month. Now in its second year with City Clean Team, Taylor Street usually had between 20 and 40 participants involved in the events.
The “United Playaz” second annual toy drive was also a huge success. All 74 former “lifers” in the program participated along with the general parolee population. Together, they were able to deliver well over 100 toys for the children of United Playaz, a violence prevention and youth development organization.
Two former long-term offenders went even more above and beyond when they stopped an attempted robbery. Dehwuan Stallworth and Herman Coleman stopped the robbery while on duty at the Pit Stop program, which provides public toilets, sinks, used needle receptacles and dog waste stations in San Francisco’s most underserved neighborhoods. Stallworth and Coleman were later honored by dignitaries from the city of San Francisco.
Former “lifer” Marcus Player was honored by the late Mayor Ed Lee for saving a citizen’s life while working at Pit Stop. Player was also recognized by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for monitoring a Pit Stop in a local park, taking advantage of this opportunity to make the park safer for children and residents in the community. The principal of the elementary school next to the park also thanked Player for his service.
“The volunteer opportunities throughout the year were endless,” shared Jason Carpenter, of the GEO Group, program manager. “Because of the large ‘lifer’ population, it was not hard to get the program involved.”
PSC and THP voluntary programs that provide residency and support services to parolees to enable successful reintegration into their communities. The program focuses on parolee employment, job search and placement training, substance abuse education, stress management, victim awareness, computer literacy and life skills. THP also offers services that focus on long-term offender needs. Learn more at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/.