ORGANIZATIONS COMBINE FORCES TO HELP RETURNING CITIZENS GET A SECOND CHANCE AT SUCCESS IN OPA-LOCKA
Organizations Combine Forces to Help Returning Citizens Get a Second Chance in Opa-Locka
FLJC, Trulieve, and the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation unite to assist people in Miami-Dade County on May 21, 2022.
Opa-Locka, FL (May 18, 2022) –
Opa-Locka is a town rich in cultural heritage but struggling with widespread poverty. The latest Census report showed that the median household income of just $21,523 is a scant one-third of that of the United States. Florida Justice Center, Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, and Trulieve are hosting a community legal clinic and second chance event at the Opa-Locka ARC (Arts and Recreation Center) to mitigate the effects of an arrest or conviction, create increased employment and housing opportunities, and give a fresh start to those who need it most.
This event, coming on the heels of Second Chance Month, will take place on May 21, 2022 from 10am to 4pm at The ARC (Arts and Recreation Center) located at 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-Locka, FL 33054 . The public is invited to join nearly 9 community groups and over a dozen attorneys for a day of social justice, second chances, and joy. A DJ will be on hand to play music in the courtyard and light snacks and bottled water will be provided.
“While we have deep roots in the Greater Miami area, we are excited to have our first event in the great city of Opa-Locka,” said Florida Justice Center Executive Director Jonathan Bleiweiss. He continued, “Our partners have presented us with a unique opportunity to uplift a community struggling to thrive.”
Florida Justice Center, Florida’s only legal aid focusing on rights restoration services, will be providing sealing and expungement, voting rights restoration, driver license reinstatement, clemency, early termination of probation, and outstanding warrant assistance. Trulieve, the state’s first medical cannabis company, will be paying all sealing and expungement fees as part of their commitment to racial equity and justice.
With a focus on helping those who have been affected by the justice-system, many partner organizations in attendance focus their service offerings on reentry and job training programs. One such organization, Re-Entry One, helps returning citizens access basic services after a term of incarceration. Founder and President Giovanni Sairras had this to say: “Between 83 and 87 percent of incarcerated people are going to return to our communities. It’s about time we address their needs and give them the tools they need to be productive members of society. The greatest deed you can do in life is to be of service to others, and that’s what an event like this does. We all need to work together to help our vulnerable community members succeed.”
Other services from the various community groups and volunteer attorneys will include:
- Civil legal assistance with immigration, housing and evictions, child custody, and government benefits
- Help with housing, employment, transportation, and identification
- Free or reduced-fee medical cannabis evaluation and card
- Free and low-cost medical insurance
- Voting registration
- Family services
- …and more!
For more information or to pre-register for assistance, visit FLJC.org/OPA
Para obtener información en español, visite FLJC.org/Espanol
ABOUT FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER
Florida Justice Center is the first and only nonprofit legal aid organization authorized by the Florida Supreme Court to provide criminal legal assistance. FLJC is dedicated to reducing incarceration rates in Florida using a holistic approach that combines legal and reentry social services. Helping thousands of people a year, FLJC’s growth is limitless.