It’s time for a FRESH NEW START in effective services for our Returning Citizens.
CORE DC, a subsidiary of CORE Services from Brooklyn, New York has been running programs for Returning Citizens for more than a decade and recently won the federal contract to bring its services to Washington, DC. They beat out the incumbent HOPE VILLAGE and this has been heralded by the Returning community and their allies.
HOPE VILLAGE has been in DC for 44 years and during that time has created political ties and cover. But its political connections has not been the best for accountability or its proficiency in programs. Many Returning Citizens and their advocacy groups have referred to HOPE VILLAGE as HOPE(LESS) VILLAGE; this in part is because HOPE VILLAGE has been racked with so many complaints. (Click here for a recent story)
The good news is that CORE DC won the contract, but the bad news is that the DC political buzz saw threatens to cut down opportunities of hope and new beginnings.
After CORE DC won the contract a challenge was put forward by HOPE(LESS) VILLAGE challenging the awarding of the contract. One challenge that was sustained was that CORE DC did not have an agreement for leased space. This in part is true; but this is only part of the story. The real story is that one of the largest developers in DC, Douglas Jemal pulled back the agreement after CORE DC won the contract. Why? What political pressure was put on him to do so? Why would Douglas Jemal who claims to be a man of his word invalidate his word NOT ONCE BUT TWICE?.
(Read the GAO Report for yourself)