Instead Of Regress You Can Progress 2009: Darrius Lewis

Instead of regress you can progress

Darrius Lewis spent the past 11 years shifting from job to unemployment, trying to be the father he didn’t have growing up in Pittsburg.
“I believe (Dad) loved me, but he wasn’t a full-time dad,” Lewis said. “All of my children came, and that’s what I told myself that I would be. Every school event that both parents weren’t able to attend, every appointment, everything involved in my boys’ school, I was involved in from age zero to now.” Fifteen weeks ago, Lewis and seven other Longview residents mired in poverty tried a different approach. Tuesday night, they graduated from the city’s first Circles of East Texas program, designed to lift residents out of poverty by connecting them with allies from middle-class or wealthy households. Longview’s first eight graduates could have also been the city’s last class, after federal funding ran dry. But a local charity stepped up to continue the Circles program, as did a pair of local churches. Funding shortfalls The U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in 2008 granted $165,000 to begin Longview’s Circles program. Local organizers thought federal funding would continue for three years, but they were mistaken, said Partners in Prevention Mentoring Program Director Lyndell McAllister. “It was kind of a miscommunication (with the federal agency),” she said.
Organizers secured $12,000 from Greater Longview United Way to keep the program running, McAllister said. St. Andrew Presbyterian Church provided space for Circles’ weekly meetings, and a Mobberly Baptist Church Sunday school class provided meals each week.

Event Date and Time:
Starts at: