OBK met with the City of East St. Louis Planning Commission on October 19 and October 26 for a complete review of the project to establish a returning citizen’s home in the ESL community. The Board of Directors made the presentation and answered a number of questions from the members.
The City of East St. Louis Planning Commission approved the development plan on October 26 to build and operate a supervised housing program for adult males released from prison and on parole. The plan as presented detailed the security measures and monitoring procedures that would be in-place for the residents. The plan would include a green area to grow their own produce and provide food for community food pantries.
Our Brothers’ Keepers is seeking approval to proceed and assistance from the City of East St. Louis to find an acceptable site. A motion was made by Commissioner Ronald Davis, seconded by Vice Chairwoman Dona Bullock to recommend to the City Council to approve the concept and assist with the location of an acceptable site. All Commissioners present voted to approve the motion. Motion carried. The Planning Commission approval document was sent to Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks, City Manager Courtney Logan, Council members Pro Tem Robert Eastern III, Latoya Greenwood, Roy Mosley and June Hamilton-Dean.
Prior to the Planning Commission meeting on October 19, Tina Phillips, Jesse Lofton and Jabari Conrad traveled to Marion, IL (October 17) to visit one of five returning citizens homes operated by LSSI-Family and Prisoner Ministry (Mike Davis, LSSI Ex. Dir., and OBK Board of Directors member). These homes are the model for how the OBK home would operate. The ESL group met with a “returning citizen” and was able to get a first-hand look at how the supportive housing and employment skills school has helped him to become a stable resident of the community. The ESL group also toured the LSSI offices and visited the computer classroom where the Employment Skill School (ESS) is taught to the returning citizens.
The Employment Skill School is a 40 day curriculum-based program designed especially for returning citizens who are seeking employment. The program includes employment readiness assessment and developing workplace skills and behaviors. The school also assists in career development services with periodic career counseling services.
In support of the OBK presentation to the Planning Commission and later the ESL City Council the following documentation was included that covered areas related to security measures and monitoring procedures that would be in-place for the residents.
- Mission of Permanent Supportive Resident Program
- Residence Operations Handbook – Programs and Rules
- Resident Mandatory Programs
- How OBK Came To Be – Origin and Development