“Part of what makes this program special is that it is the embodiment of a philosophy, a philosophy of redemption and restoration,” said Robert Rogers, an aide to Gioia. “All of us believe that past obstacles are just that, in the past. They aren’t barriers; they are opportunities — opportunities to better our neighborhoods and our families.
Rubicon in the News
For over 40 years, Rubicon has served East Bay residents with the goal of ending poverty. The program offers life coaching and financial and legal resources to the formerly incarcerated and parents of families living under the poverty line. The group brings in up to 20 new participants every two weeks at its Richmond site. They also have sites in Oakland, Antioch and Hayward.
Sometimes, you endeavor to accomplish one small goal, and it snowballs into a life-changing event. As the Rolling Stones once said, “you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.” In Drummond’s case, he – a Rubicon participant from the first cohort under its new program model – got both. Just one year ago, someone told him that Rubicon could reinstate his suspended license, and help him get his life in order, find a job and build a career.
By Jane Fischberg & Dan Geiger
In government, good intentions frequently have unintended consequences. Unfortunately, many of these unintended consequences can have irreversible impacts, costing lives, chilling innovation and disintegrating community institutions that have reliably served our neighbors for decades. That’s the case with AB 1250. This legislation has a purportedly noble goal: to protect employment security for public employees. But in actuality, it constructs an elaborate system that locks out the nonprofits and medical specialists that ensure that some of our community’s most vulnerable residents receive care.
By David Gray
Multiple nonprofit groups statewide providing mission-critical services through contracts with counties are at risk of closing if the California State Legislature adopts Assembly Bill 1250. This bill would put many high-quality community based organizations out of business. Examples include Rubicon Programs, Shelter Inc. and Early Childhood Mental Health.
“When you suspend a person’s license there is supposed to be a finding of willfulness,” said Sarah Williams, a staff attorney with Rubicon Programs, a Contra Costa County-based nonprofit that led a coalition of Bay Area legal aid organizations in filing a class action lawsuit last year. “When someone doesn’t pay a ticket that doesn’t mean it’s willful if they can’t afford to pay it.”
A formally incarcerated man from San Pablo cleared his credit, earned his driver’s license, and purchased a car with insurance. Meanwhile, a homeless mother of two got help to achieve sobriety, a job, an apartment and the title “Best Mom.” Local residents have emerged from seemingly insurmountable situations through the help of Rubicon Programs at 101 Broadway in Richmond.
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.”