The Santa Ana Day Reporting Center in Santa Ana, California, regularly stays active in the community and with its participants year-round. From taking part in resource fairs and volunteer work, to hosting employment seminars and prosocial events, the center had some great moments in 2017.
Here are some highlights:
At the beginning of the year, participants had the opportunity to attend Orange County Re-Entry Partnership’s Reimagining Reentry conference, which provided valuable information on legal barriers ex-offenders face and how they can navigate them. The center’s employment group visited and even dressed up for the day to make an impression.
In April, the Santa Ana DRC held an Interview Workshop, which was very successful. Participants were provided with new interview clothing, for which they were thankful, while staff presented on the dos and don’ts of interviewing. The workshop also included mock interviews between staff and participants. Employment can be a huge barrier to reentry, so providing guidance and helping participants gain employment is a core goal for GEO Reentry Services.
The center held a transition ceremony in May for 25 graduates. The ceremony’s theme was “Adapt and Overcome.” The graduation was very emotional for participants, family members and staff alike. Held at the Business Expo Center in Anaheim, the ceremony was attended by parole officials who have also worked closely with the graduating participants.
GEO Reentry helped to organize the Reentry Resource Fair, held in partnership with OCREP, which was a great success. It took place at the Honda Center and offered information on resources, including employment, child and health care, sober living and schooling. Probation officers and parole agents also attended.
In October, the center held a Cancer Awareness prosocial event. Participants came together to make “Get Well” goodie bags for UC Irvine’s medical center. Participants wrote messages of hope for patients undergoing chemotherapy, and inside each bag included chapstick, snacks, nail polish, mints, hand sanitizer and tissues. The finished products were donated to UC Irvine’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and staff were incredibly thankful for the gifts!
Rounding off a busy month, community members from local businesses and community connections attended Career Day at the center, providing job opportunities and tips for a successful interview. A representative from Hilton held mock interviews, which was very helpful for participants.
In November, law enforcement officials and community connections members were invited to an open house at the center to learn more about its services. Staff shared the importance of the center’s work to representatives from Santa Ana College and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, in addition to discussing the center’s groups and curriculum.