It's not even worth counting the days it's been since I've used this blog to express what I'm thinking. Ironically, I could probably count about as many days that I did not want to think about anything post-5 p.m. because my job sometimes just 'does me like dat.'
Never the less, yesterday was a particularly great day at work. Qualifying a day of work as great rarely comes to me because I decided about a year ago that I hated using the word because at my childhood dinner table you could get away with saying your day was 'good' or 'fine' and you didn't have to say anything else because as long as it wasn't 'bad' or 'okay' you didn't have to explain yourself. Being great would qualify having to explain yourself as well, so I usually avoid it, too. (I hate communicating post work for the most part - unless I really like you.)
But it was great, and I'm ready to explain myself, because it left me with some satisfaction in thinking 'My job can in fact be useful.'
Now I realize that people across the world would not be paid to do my job if it were a 'useless' occupation, and I do feel as though every day I am doing something productive for somebody somewhere, but yesterday, I got to use my skizilz to help a friend. Not only a friend - but my best friend.
That's when you feel useful. That turned a fine day into a great day and I became an asset with a skill and knowledge that could help her further her cause - her passion (and lucky for her, her job as well.)
I poured myself into that press release - I quit working on my client work (shhh. don't tell) just to make sure I got it done and done right for her deadline with the Indy Star.
So maybe this is a little anti-climactic, but it felt damn good. Check out the release below (very cool story) - and if by chance you're with some major news outlet - you can contact me at anytime. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have or arrange a time for you to meet with the Craine House experiment volunteers or leadership...(end PR voice)Craine House to expose the obstacles female felons face in the workforceRiding buses, getting a job – everything’s harder with a felony and kids
INDIANAPOLIS (July 6, 2006) – The job market is tough – especially when you’re a felon and a single mom.
Under Indiana state law… But as the John P. Craine House has found, that is not necessarily the case.
The Craine House is an alternative sentencing program for non-violent female offenders and their pre-school aged children. As part of their services they provide women with educational training and help to assist with job placement.
“Our correctional system may do an excellent job of detaining felons, but it does a terrible job of preparing men and women for the workforce after prison,” said Suzanne Pierce, executive director of the John P. Craine House. “Felons who find themselves unable to get a job are more likely to go back to the criminal cycle because they can’t support themselves or their children.”
“We must break the cycle.”
While living at Craine House, women are expected to find employment within thirty days. Amidst a sea of other barriers including a criminal history with a felony, arranging and coordinating childcare on a limited budget, insufficient education, and a minimal work history, the women at Craine House begin the job search in a new city with little guidance, and no transportation, as they are not allowed to drive.
As an investigative study, the Craine House is sending two Craine House volunteers into the streets of Indy with one goal – to get a job. But first, just like the felons, they’ll have to navigate the Indy bus system to get the kids to daycare and use the bus system again to make it to their 9 a.m. interviews. All of this, and then they have to get the job while “admitting” they are felons.
Through their experiences, the Craine House hopes to discover the reasons why the women they serve are many times unable to successfully return to the workforce.
“Many times, we think it shouldn’t be a big deal to be able to clean up, go out, get a job and live the American dream,” said Suzanne Pierce, executive director of the John P. Craine House. “But the women we serve have ceaselessly had issues in finding employment and we aim to find out why and make changes in our programs and in their lives that will help send these women and their children into successful, healthy jobs and lives.”
The John P. Craine House is a non-profit organization that has served incarcerated women since 1978. Since 1993, Craine House has been one of six facilities in existence in the United States and the only one in the Midwest open to both women and their pre-school aged children. For more information about the Craine House and its programs visit www.crainehouse.org
or call (317) 925-2833.
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