On March 1st, The Urban League of Scholars Agency Inc., will be launching Social Support Service (SSS) mobile app for beta-testing nationwide, with a focus on Englewood & Greater Chicago. The SSS App, is a digital directory that enables the public to access free social supportive service at the convenience of one’s fingertips. The purpose of the app is to promote social equity, individual quality of life, crime reduction (particularly, crime related to social needs), and access to resources, before bad decision-making, crime or crisis.
SSS app, end-user’s can access support service in the following categories: (1) food (soup kitchen, food pantry), (2) housing (rental assistance, emergency housing), (3) clothing, (4) education & job-readiness (GED, junior colleges, vocational training), (5) professional services (legal services, financial literacy, entrepreneurial training), (6) mental health & wellness (therapy and health clinics) and (7) crisis intervention (crime, suicide prevention, domestic violence, safe haven for kids, rape & sexual assault). SSS, was developed by Kimone Smith, Founder & CEO of TULSA Inc after completing her Masters in Public administration at Metropolitan College of NY. The concept is partially based on her masters thesis “Enhancing Consequential Decision-making in Non-violent Teenage Offenders with Short-term Intensive Psychosocial Cognitive Group-therapy.”
Research suggests, “poverty yields a set of socioeconomic stressors that threatens familial health and well-being, such as scarce resources, community violence, vandalism, crime, unstable housing, unemployment, even, food insecurity” (Slopen, Fitzmaurice, Williams & Gilman, 2010). According to the Brookings Institute, men who grew up in the poorest 10 percent of American families are 20 times as likely to be imprisoned by their early 30s than men from the richest 10 percent of families (2018). Eighty-two percent of the prison population represents 50% of America’s poorest families (Looney & Turner, 1986). Believe it or not, income (or access to resources) is a strong indicator for future incarceration. Being poor in America is a gateway to crime or negative encounters with the criminal justice system. Today, ninety-five percent of Americans have cell phones and over 30 million Americans live in poverty. SSS, leverages data and technology to help people overcome the social barriers they may be facing, to lead better quality lives.
SSS, will be available on Google Play, Apple, and on the world wide web. TULSA is currently seeking Social Service Providers across the U.S. metropolitan regions to help us impact, empower, and transform lives. To learn more about the SSS App, visit https://tulsainc.us/civic-
Mississippi Mayor Offers $10K for Drug Dealers and Gang Members to Leave Town
Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy is prepared to pay a high price for “safety”. Offering up his own money to get drug dealers and gang members out of his city, the Mississippi mayor has proposed a relocation fund that he hopes will improve the quality of life for residents.
During a press conference on Monday, Mayor Espy stated he believed those indulging in criminal behavior are just in the wrong environment. He hopes that the funds would provide them a fresh start elsewhere and is targeting “drug dealers, gang members, and any wannabe criminals” within the limits of Clarksdale. With offers beginning at $10,000, Mayor Espy says now is the time if leave if you’re not going to change.
The relocation fund is just one part of a five point plan which focuses on a no tolerance policy, preservation of lives, rehabilitation programs, and intervention. Although it seems to be a final warning to those of the criminal element, Espy and local Reverend John Givins are emphasizing the opportunity for change is still on the table. In addition to the relocation fund, etiquette classes, education, and cognitive behavioral treatment will be made available to desiring citizens.
In a statement released just before the press conference, Espy communicated the success of a “Corrective Action Plan” has influenced this new approach. He plans to “double-down and implement a systemic approach and use proven models that address crime directly.” The model used in 2018 saw their number of homicides drop exponentially. But that success also came with attacking internal issues within the police department head on.
Describing their circumstance as an inherited 15-year problem, Espy, commissioners, and the police chief have had to crack down on internal corruption and offer solutions for improvement. Providing customer service training, anger management training, community policing, officer education, and formal disciplinary action, the City of Clarksdale is following a model for overall reform and not just policing the citizens.
Do you believe that a relocation stipend is a good idea or will it just fund criminal activity elsewhere?
Say What? Florida Man Calls Police On Egyptian Comic, Claims Joke Made Him “Uncomfortable”
After hearing a joke that made light of negative stereotypes of Muslims, a Florida man was triggered enough to call the police. Alleging the joke made him “uncomfortable”, the caller misidentified standup comedian Ahmed Ahmed as Middle Eastern and stated his joke supported terrorism.
Last Saturday during his set at the Off The Hook Comedy Club in Naples, Florida, Egyptian comic Ahmed Ahmed told a joke that apparently went over one attendee’s head. Asking the audience to “clap if you’re from the Middle East”, Ahmed scoped the audience for cheers. He responded, “All right. We got a handful of us in here, nice. But, hey, it only takes one of us… to tell a joke.” After hearing the bit, which is regularly part of Ahmed’s sets, the attendee claimed, “My wife and I looked at each other and we felt very uncomfortable.”
Stating he only went to the show because he’d received free tickets, the man called authorities at the Collier County Sheriff’s Department. Claiming Ahmed Ahmed was a man of Middle Eastern descent who was possibly organizing people to commit acts of terrorism, the caller yelled out mid-set that “the paddy wagon is going to be outside to get all of you!” However, the sheriff’s department didn’t show up until Sunday and found no reason for concern.
Since audio of the call was released by the sheriff’s department, Ahmed Ahmed has called it “a blessing in disguise.” Brien Spina, the owner of the comedy club where Ahmed has been booked for more than a decade, has praised the comic’s ability and stated “For me, it was a great joke. I stand behind him.” Ahmed spoke with NBC who asked what he would say to the backwards audience member. Ahmed replied, “I want to say, ‘Thank you, to him. He got more publicity for me in that one phone call than ever.”
You can listen to the joke and phone call here.
Felicity Huffman Pleads Guilty In Admissions Scandal, Lori
The college admissions scandal that shook the nation has moved forward now that Felicity Huffman has entered her guilty plea. But former Fuller House star Lori Loughlin is holding out hope that she won’t find herself behind bars.
A source close to Loughlin revealed the actress “doesn’t believe she deserves” jail time. Lori Loughlin, who refused any plea deals, incurred several additional charges unlike Huffman, who immediately owned her part in the conspiracy. To make matters worse, Loughlin’s relationships with her husband and daughter are suffering from the decision to pay $500,000 in bribes for admission to USC.
Olivia Jade, the daughter of Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, has not been on good terms with her parents following the discovery of their deceitful activity. The source, who spoke with ET, says Olivia is defiant and refuses to forgive or speak with her mother because “she’s hurt and feels betrayed.” Jade allegedly told her parents she “wasn’t interested in going to college”, and said this all could have been avoided if they had just listened to her.
While Loughlin is struggling to find the strength to hold herself accountable, Huffman is facing her charges head on. May 13th, Felicity Huffman appeared in court to plead guilty for paying $15,000 to allow extra time for her daughter to take the SAT test and have a proctor correct her answers. Prosecutors are asking that she receives a sentence of a mere four months in jail for the offense along with paying a $20,000 fine.
Appearing before Judge Indira Talwani, Huffman tearfully explained her case and accepted the terms of her plea deal. Under the agreement, Huffman is ineligible to run for public office, owning a firearm and ammo, and cannot appeal any prison decision up to 20 years. Huffman will receive her sentence September 13th.
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