On Friday, July 19, 2019, hundreds of community members gathered under a large white tent in the Linconville neighborhood of St. Augustine, Florida to support the launch of our Ready4Work reentry program in St. Johns County.
Despite the sweltering summer heat, spirits were high as those in attendance listened to inspiring words from Dr. Makaziwe Mandela who reminded us that “Without unity — unity as a community, unity as a neighborhood, unity as a society, you can never actually enjoy or experience social justice in this country or anywhere in the world.”
Caren Goldman of Compassionate St. Augustine, City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, St. Paul’s AME Reverand Ron Rawls, inspirational speaker Khalil Osiris, and Operation New Hope’s very own Kevin Gay offered remarks to commemorate the initiative’s launch. The beautiful voice of Mama Blue unified the supporters as she led everyone in singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Supporters of the St. Johns County Ready4Work initiative then moved to cool air-conditioning of the Lightner Museum to enjoy a reception and view Nelson Mandela’s Struggle Series prints which were on display.
Operation New Hope has presented the community with a one-year proposed budget for operating expenses, inclusive of all costs and has requested that the first year be substantially funded prior to opening the office. Once the location pilot has been opened, Operation New Hope will act as managing entity for the site.
It is with great hope that expansion of our services into St. Johns County is just the beginning and that we will continue growing, bringing the Ready4Work program to cities all over Florida and beyond, leading to many Cities of Second Chances!