by Batyah Ayinde
Oakland – The Homeboy Hotline will host its first annual fundraiser celebration on Saturday, June 23, 2-4 p.m., at Hibiscus Restaurant, located at 1745 San Pablo Ave., Oakland.
Davey D, host of KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio and a well known and respected community activist and advocate, will headline the event. Donations raised will fund the work of HBH, a nonprofit organization that provides support, resources and hope to the formerly incarcerated. Tickets sell for $20 each and can be purchased via the HBH website, homeboyhotline.org, and via Eventbrite, eventbrite.com/event/3483799137.
Davey D is a long-time supporter of HBH founder Robert “Fleetwood” Bowden and his work and has featured him on his Hard Knock Radio show several times. “Fleetwood is a true soldier and has been on the frontlines for years doing this work. We have to support agencies like the Homeboy Hotline because they provide the resources that our brothers and sisters need after they come out of the prison industrial complex, so come check us out on June 23 at Hibiscus Restaurant,” he said.
The Homeboy Hotline provides resources, support and guidance to ex-offenders to assist them as they transition back into the Bay Area community. HBH is a community based organization that is focused on building relationships between other CBOs, local employers and program participants.
HBH offers a central location to receive employment, educational resources, basic job training courses and employment references. They work to significantly decrease the rate of recidivism, which is a major issue for formerly incarcerated populations due to the lack of resources provided for them upon release. HBH increases their chances of gaining employment regardless of their past crime, and is dedicated to addressing those issues that prevent ex-offenders and related classes from finding employment.
“We really want to be a part of HBH because we fully support their work – they are good for Oakland and we share the same vision for this community,” said Hibiscus managing partners Jordan Medina and Christian Baker, who donated the use of the restaurant and food for the event. They are also creating an internship program for the formerly incarcerated, providing them with the needed skills to obtain employment in any restaurant, either in the kitchen or front of house. “Employment provides purpose by keeping those at risk of re-offending off the streets,” continued Medina and Baker.
HBH targets people who have been released from correctional institutions, have active parole files or are active participants in a drug rehabilitation program. HBH is not gender specific and will provide the same services to each active participant regardless of race, gender, sex, citizenship or class. The Homeboy Hotline’s primary goal is to increase the streams of open communication between ex-offenders and the community at large, ensuring healthy and sustainable transitions back into society.
To learn more and get involved, call the Homeboy Hotline at (415) 685-1653 and visit http://homeboyhotline.org/.