RICHMOND — For more than 40 years, Rubicon Programs, an East Bay nonprofit, has assisted residents, many of them with rap sheets, get housing and employment. The organization has won accolades for its work, but all too often, participants returned, needing help again and again.
Even more depressingly, years later, their children would come in asking for help, underscoring the immense challenge of eradicating poverty, even in one of the wealthiest regions of the country.
A mural that was designed to encourage hope for those touched by incarceration was unveiled at the Reentry Success Center in Richmond on Monday. The mural, titled Freedom's Expressions, was designed and created by formerly incarcerated local residents and family members affected by incarceration.
Described as “bright and beautiful,” the mural was created over a four-month period with guidance from two professional mural artists.
In a statement, participant Albert G. described the project, which was largely funded by a $7,000 grant from the Richmond Neighborhood Public Arts Mini-Grants program, as “a way for me to start coming back while giving back.”
The Hearst Foundation has awarded $725,000 in grants to nine organizations in the Bay Area, according to the San Francisco Gate. The awards go to organizations and institutions that reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst in education, health, culture and social services.
The San Francisco Film Society and Richmond’s Rubicon Programs were awarded with $150,000 each. The Film Society will be able to use the grant to strengthen education programming for youths. The Rubicon programs will be able to support their education and employment programming.
The Hearst Foundations awarded $725,000 worth of grants to nine Bay Area organizations this summer for their work spanning a wide gamut from mentoring programs for children in low-income communities to aiding the construction of an experimental learning ship.
The biggest awards, $150,000 each, were given to Richmond’s Rubicon Programs, to support education and employment programming, and the San Francisco Film Society, to strengthen education programming for youth.