Hi Everyone! It’s funny that part of this week’s prompt is about COVID, because it has definitely impacted my week. This Wednesday, SWDCJC hosted an Expungement Fair for members of the community to come learn about the process of getting their records expunged of low level and nonviolent misdemeanors. The event was supposed to be in person, but because of a COVID exposure amongst the City of Detroit Project Clean Slate staff, the event was moved online. Luckily, the event still went fairly smoothly and we were able to connect people of Southwest Detroit to relevant information and assistance.
The pandemic has really changed a lot of the services that SWDCJC provides because of the new challenges that so many families faced.
In 2020, during the global pandemic, 242 clients and their family members were assisted and provided case management, counseling and crisis intervention appointments via phone, video conferencing and face-to-face. Clients were helped with applying for unemployment benefits, paying bills online, completing online applications for assistance with housing, food, and other basic needs, completing the census survey, opening bank accounts, and obtaining pay cards to receive unemployment benefits and stimulus payments. SWDCJC provides wraparound services to the community, which includes all of the aforementioned things and more in order to address the root causes of incarceration. It’s been fascinating to hear about how the pandemic has transformed the agency to take on new responsibilities in the community.