Yesterday, I received a call from a young man in Roxbury who was about to break:
"Yo B, I don't know if I can do this anymore. I'm trying to do right. I've been going around from place to place begging like a dummy. I've been getting jerked around like some punk. I go here they tell me to go there. I go there they tell me to go here. I've been trying for months to get anything positive and it's got me nothing. I'm tired of not knowing where I'm staying at night. I'm tired of having no grub money. I'm tired of walking here and there. I'm tired of living like a slob because I'm broke. You keep telling me to stay on the positive. I can't live like this. I'm telling you I just wanna' go back to the street. I don't care if I end up in jail I can't do this no more."
An actual conversation that happened this morning:
"Hi, sir, I am going through my email and I see that you have an apprenticeship program in Boston."
"Yeah, that's right."
"Well I run a program in Roxbury where I work with young men that are looking for work. They have dropped off 20 or 30 applications each and are being given the run-around because they have been involved in the court system. They are making a real effort to find work but they are getting discouraged and are about to give up. I'm worried I am going to lose them. They are doing great and really trying and they just need to be given a chance. I was wondering if you had any leads of CORI-friendly employers in the trades that I could contact on their behalf?"
"Our next seminar starts in September."
"Ok, thanks. In the meantime, because they are really struggling now, do you know of any union contacts or people I could call to start the ball rolling? Both are already trained in two specific trades and ready to work now."
"I'm not going to go through my files and look for you. I don't have time."