Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Annual Community Resource Summit Part II

First Annual Community Resource Summit Part II
Sponsored by Jefferson County Adult Probation
Held at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club
Thurs. Feb. 3, 2011

Jim Stott, Director Jefferson County Adult Probation
Jerry Johnson, Deputy Director
Rick De La Torre, Pre-trial officer, Violence Intervention Unit

Part One of the Summit was held last month for the staff to educate them about the various local social services available to their clients.  Part two was designed to inform their clients of these services.

Approximately 125 probationers took advantage of the Community Resource Summit sponsored by the Jefferson County Adult Probation Department, despite the bitter cold weather that hit Southeast Texas overnight.  Some of the clients were ordered by the courts to attend but most clients volunteered to come so that they could be better informed of the opportunities available to them locally.

Jim Stott, director of JCAP said the idea of having the Summit was so that their client could talk to a number of agency representatives all at one place, a “one stop shop”.  He said, “Many clients don’t have their own transportation and that makes it very difficult to keep appointments for more than one agency at a time. The Summit gives them an opportunity to fill out applications for several services without having the hassle of traveling across town.  

Agencies represented were: Golden Triangle Empowerment Center of Port Arthur, Arrow Child & Family Ministries, Small Business Administration, Texas Health Step, Social Security Administration, Texas Work Force Resources, Family Services, King Smiles Dentist, JCDI, The Salvation Army and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.

Michael Perez, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club said he was pleased with the response and that Coach David Smith did a great job coordinating the event.  Coach Smith said he was happy to let the community see another side of the Salvation Army.

Tina Kirkland, a client, said she will be forever grateful to APS for helping her get her life back in order.  She said they provided her with counseling and transportation so that she could keep her appointment with the various agencies.  “They do not set you up for failure, but for success.” She said.  “The key, however, is having the willingness to change before anything positive can happen.”  She said it took losing her family, her home, and her job before she finally took control, and admitted that she had enough of the drug life.  She said that she owes at least 80% of her success to the staff in the probation department.

Tina said that she believes that there is a purpose in everything and that God is ultimately in control.  “I wouldn’t change anything that has happened to me” she said, “because it has made me who I am today.” 

One of the most popular booths at the Summit was from the Small Business Administration.  It is the dream of many to have their own business and getting the correct information on how to go about that is very important.

The staff was pleased with the turn out and are already planning the next Summit for this Spring.

CLICK HERE to view a photo album of the Summit on The Salvation Army Facebook page!