The problem we face now is how to stop this destructive cycle and make positive changes. The Department of Human Services will tell you that the reason they cannot investigate and care for all of these children, is because of a lack of funds. The educators will tell you the reason they cannot have more influence in a child's future, is because of a lack of funds. The juvenile delinquency professionals will tell you that the reason they cannot serve all the children in need, is because of a lack of funds. Addiction treatment centers will tell you that the reason they cannot treat those with an addiction problem, is because of a lack of funds. The prison system will tell you that the reason they cannot focus on reform and re-entry is because of a lack of funds. Our state is broke. Most states are broke and most states could not afford to increase the funding to these organizations to meet the needs of their population.
We need renewed social responsibility. Not in the form of government programs but in community based centers that create new revenue streams. I will give you an example. I know of a man who opened a florist shop. He, himself, only took a salary from the business. He employed people who had served time in prison and helped with re-entry for these individuals. He took the profit from his business to fund an organization that helps offenders transition from prison to their communities. I know of people who have created businesses that created jobs for homeless people, single mothers and former offenders and the profit from these businesses purchased affordable housing that was also available to those in need.
If we are going to find solutions to the problems we are faced with and the budget crisis in our states, we are going to have to be creative and innovative. We have the skills, the knowledge and the resources. Do we have the tenacity, the strength and the heart?