Recently, Freedom Ticket talked with Twin Cities Rise! (TCR!) about their programs for people leaving corrections facilities.
What is Twin Cities RISE!?
TCR!, a long-term work skills and personal empowerment program for adults living in deep poverty, helps people gain full-time, living wage jobs with benefits. TCR! combines one-on-one coaching, customized work skills instruction, supportive services, internship opportunities, professional employment placement services and our unique Personal Empowerment training to help reduce generational poverty in the Twin Cities. TCR!’s mission is to provide employers with skilled workers – primarily men from communities of color in the Twin Cities area – by training under- and unemployed adults for skilled jobs that pay a living wage of at least $20,000 annually.
How could your program benefit someone leaving a corrections facility?
TCR! works with participants with the most difficult barriers to employment, including substance abuse, low educational attainment, generational poverty and criminal records. With the help of partner organizations and the criminal justice system, we actively recruit people from corrections facilities who need the skills and personal empowerment to rejoin society and the workforce.
What suggestions do you have to empower people facing challenges in life?
We tell participants in our Personal Empowerment training that they are loveable, important and valuable and that their core values can never be taken away. When people tell you that you’re not worthy of having a job, being successful, or having hope for the future, you must remember that simply by being born, you have significant value and a place in this world.
TRC!’s Personal Empowerment training helps participants grow their own self-confidence, learn how to regulate their emotions, develop a problem-solving approach to challenges, and be accountable for their own actions and future. These tools help participants manage everyday challenges more effectively. The training also helps participants build openness to learning and planning skills, laying the foundation for success on the job and in life. Every year, TCR! gives an award to a participant who demonstrates how the training has transformed his or her life. According to one award applicant:
“I had forgotten the basic fundamental that I am lovable, valuable and important…I was at a crossroads. I could keep feeling sorry for myself or take responsibility for where I was in life and make something of it. Personal Empowerment training has taught me that no one can change my attitude but me.”
Personal Empowerment training doesn’t just transform the person who takes the class. By changing the way the participant thinks and interacts with others, the participant’s family and community also change. As another participant said:
“Every interaction I have with the people in my life, including family and friends, has become an opportunity to pass along the flame of empowerment…I hand them a spark, a key to a door they might not have noticed before.”
If you have questions or would like to contact TCR!, please call the Minneapolis office at (612) 338-0295 or the St. Paul office at (651) 603-8520. You can also learn more online at www.twincitiesrise.org.