by Ronald Broach, Manager of Reentry Services
On April 13 & 14, 2020 non-profit agencies BOSS, All of Us or None, and La Familia in a collaborative effort, combined forces on the frontline at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, CA on the frontline, meeting and greeting folks who had just been released, many of whom were released early due to the global pandemic surrounding COVID-19.
Those who made the 200-foot trek down the ramp on their Pathway 2 Promise, were welcomed with virtual handshakes, high fives and hugs, but even more than that they were recipients of vital life saving tools: face masks, latex gloves, hand sanitizers, $20 Safeway gift cards and a free two week voucher to stay at the luxurious Quality Inn Hotel in Oakland, CA — unprecedent to say the lease.
One young man, after receiving these precious gifts, skipped away singing the SpongeBob song “It’s the Best Day Ever” and another young lady shed tears of joy knowing that she would have a warm comfortable bed to sleep in for the next two weeks. Having witnessed the euphoric responses from each individual released, I had to stop and think: it shouldn’t take a pandemic to make things so simple and let this be a lesson to all “live life humbly and preciously protect it” on our journey down the “Pathway 2 Promise”.