We bring Hope and Purpose to those marginalized by gang affiliation and its impact on communities.

Thank you for your patience.  The first two months of the year have gone by fast, but it's exciting to see this small organization grow and develop.  Our Everett Center is in full swing, we are prepping the Farm for the spring, and we are hiring 2 new staff members.  When I decided months ago to let go of my job to fully trust in God and serve Him by serving the homies I love so much, I didn’t know this was what was in store for me.

Most of you know I have been doing some strong accompaniment with youth that reside in the Everett area as well as being there for homies in the system and those coming out.  We created a youth group called TurnAround Youth in Everett for lil homies to study, get mentorship, develop life skills and be a community.  A place where we take time to validate their emotions and to create Hope - because every lil homie that walks in our door has come from an environment that has created an outlook on life that no one should have to bare.  I look at the surroundings of this community and see the eyes of broken dreams, the stares of hopeless youth, and the pains that run deeper than a dry well.  But in our small group gatherings I see something different - a family forming that is boosting each other up and finding our Purpose.

As our youth programs continue to rapidly develop, we are continuing the hard work of in-reach to help homies in prisons.  One of the ways we help is to aid in keeping homies connected to those outside of prison that matter to them.  We know we aren't the only source of guys' Hope, and our impact is multiplied when they can take pride in a kind deed and feel the satisfaction of knowing it originated from them. 

Another exciting development is the partnerships that we are forming with other organizations.  Through inviting volunteers to the Center and the Farm we have met some amazing people doing amazing work, and we're going to be introducing them to you one by one.  This month we invite you to meet Keep Dreams Alive Foundation led by Dafne Powell.  Dafne's organization offers education guidance for people not familiar with the US education system, many of whom have language barriers as well.

As always, I want to just tell you all how thankful I am for your love, prayers, and support.  We are growing and connecting because people like you believe in us.  I will always be grateful.

Jose "Neaners" Garcia
Leading From the Heart
Yesterday we had a visitor to our TurnAround Youth small group - the older homie Spooky who just finished serving a 20 year sentence.  It was nice to have Spooky come share his story and give his guidance to the lil homies we serve.  We can tell our youth what the future holds if they continue down that path, but having someone who has lived through it share his story makes so much more of an impact.

I grew up as a youngster who never connected with my parents.  In our house, telling a parent that we felt neglected or confused was met with an "Aye como chingas," or "Chinga tu madre cabron."  These are workds that can crush a 6 year old.  It didn't matter what the circumstances were - whether I'd just spent the night in the car or had just been molested - we just had to deal with it on our own.

We create inner blinders to avoid facing the pains we have endured.  My community has developed an attitude of pretending to be unphased by our traumas. We look to others for a sense of belonging and direction to feel seen.  Not being seen has been one of the biggest obstacles in our community.  It's hard for us to look past the neglect, not only in our family and inner circle, but in the other people who have their own blinders and don't see us.

As Author and Professor in Social Work Brene Brown, in her December 4, 2018 blog post, says "Leading from hurt rather than leading from heart means we're working our shit out on other people.  And, because we're not addressing the real driver of our pain, this behavior isn't an occasional angry slip.  Inflicting hurt rather than felling hurt becomes a habit".  We want to set our lil homies up so they lead their lives from their hearts, and working things out together starts that process.  
Old Stomping Grounds
Second Chance Outreach is now working with lil homies at Echo Glen Children's Center in Snoqualmie to create Hope and Purpose in the lives of those that have been impacted by past trauma.  Echo Glen was my first stop in the justice system, way back when I was a youngster of just 10 years old.  It's a privilege to be in a position now to help these kids.

Over the last several weeks, my colleagues Josie Hinman, Tairyn Torres, Jodie Kercheval, and I have been developing trusting relationships so we can help these youth start to see themselves differently.  We are drawing them out in conversation, helping them set and work on achieving the goals, creating their release plans, and healing from their past traumas.

We had a couple of break-throughs here the other day.  First, a young woman who we had tasked the week before with starting to think about her release plan shared with us that it totally freaked her out.  This is a good thing though, don't worry!  She said that in the whole time she'd been at Echo, this was the first time she was really thinking about what it means to be released.  That's Hope budding.  The other thing that happened was that when we asked one of our groups what THEY wanted to cover in our meetings, they actually began telling us.  That means that we know what to prepare for, we know what they will show up for, and we know something that will make this their group rather than our group - because that is our Purpose - we are here for them.

I'm excited to see where this leads us and thankful that this door has been opened for us.
Special Delivery
A homie in prison had a simple favor to ask:  It was his girl's birthday and he wanted to send her flowers.  He had saved enough money, he just couldn't place the order.  Could we help out?  Keeping up relationships that are separated by bars is tough and there isn't much we can to do help, but we can arrange for flowers to be delivered.  It's a privilege to be trusted enough to be part of this type of support. 

Homies in prison earn a very small wage for jobs they take on.  Some work in the kitchen, some in laundry, some maintaining equipment, some cleaning; and being able to give someone a gift with the money you've earned gives a certain amount of dignity.  And that dignity helps remind them that they have Purpose.

This is our in-reach work.  It starts from building authentic relationships through phone calls, emails, and letters.  From there, we are able to open deeper conversations, hear about plans for the future, share how God is working in our lives, and encourage homies to imagine their lives on the outside.  And some days, we get the joy of helping to deliver flowers.
Introducing A Partner in Serving the Community
We want to introduce you to one of the great organizations we have been working with - the Keep Dreams Alive Foundation, led by Dafne Powell.  KDA  helps parents new to the US understand and navigate the education system for their kids.  They provide help with everything from finding schools, to getting through enrollment, to assisting with FAFSA applications.  KDA also is gearing up to assist with DACA filings.  Their clinics will include information about DACA and how to apply, and will feature help from legal experts who are donating their time to assist with the process.  For more information on the Keep Dreams Alive Foundation, check out their Facebook page at
We ask for prayers for strength for homies in prison working hard to keep outside relationships going, and prayers for patience and love for those who support them.

We also ask for prayers that God works in our various youth small groups, to build up our youth, help them work through their traumas, and see themselves growing and strengthening.

And a prayer of thanks for all of those who are working hard for our community during this time that presents so many challenges and barriers.
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