The Lionheart Foundation Spring Update 2019

08/05/19 0

Dear Friend of Lionheart,

As always, I hope this finds you very peaceful and well.

I am delighted to be sending you Lionheart’s 2019 Spring update. Our growth, after many years of methodical and steady progress, is on the verge of significant leaps forward. Since our last update Lionheart has received its fourth “Innovative Grant” from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation which we will launch in June. After a long gestation period EQ2, Lionheart’s new “emotion coaching” program for direct-care staff working with adolescents in residential care and juvenile detention, is nearing completion and we are gearing up for an expanded approach to its distribution. Lionheart is very fortunate to have two exceptional new hires who it is my pleasure to introduce to you in this update.

Support from generous donors, foundations, and state agencies has been the steadying force that has fueled this evolution for Lionheart. It has been a lifeline of hope, encouragement, and growth for the young people and adults whom we serve – populations who are often hanging on by a fragile hope that life could be better. THANK YOU for making our progress and our increasing impact possible!

INNOVATIVE GRANTS from the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)

The newest “Innovative Grant” Lionheart has received from the CDCR is for The Houses of Healing Training: A Program to Prepare Lifers and Long-term Prisoners to Facilitate a High Impact Social-Emotional (Re)habilitation Program. This 3-year grant is similar to the Power Source Training that is currently in progress within two CDCR institutions. The Power Source Training prepares select lifers and long-termers to facilitate the Power Source Program with 18-24 year olds on their yard. This newest grant prepares lifers and long-termers to deliver the Houses of Healing Program to men of any age on their yard.

“I am writing this quick note to let you know we are near the half-way point in the Power Source Training at CA State Prison – Mule Creek. I am really looking forward to completing the training & beginning the Power Source classes. The emotional healing & maturity the program has helped me to experience has changed my life and the quality of my relationships so much that I can’t believe this is real at times. But it is! I’m excited to continue delivering the curriculum for the young offenders. I know it will change their lives for the better in so many ways.” Alex, Lifer and PS training participant

“I’m very thankful now that I’ve been doing “good things”. Good energy, good people, good news been coming into my life with the great deal of help of “Houses of Healing” for opening my eyes, my heart, my mind. For the first time here I can truly say with feeling and conviction that “I feel free”- mind and soul! I am so grateful for this facilitator training program. I feel better about myself as a person, a man, and now I must keep walking this way to help others… I’m working, helping, living this way from now on.” Tom, PS training participant

During the last year, through another 3-year Innovative Grant, Lionheart has been delivering a program titled “Making Time Count: Making the Most of Your Time Behind Bars” to incoming prisoners in the San Quentin Reception Center where they spend their first 2-6 months. The program introduces them to about half of the Houses of Healing curriculum. Making Time Count classes accommodate 15 men at a time from each of the two “dorms” where it is offered. Currently each dorm has about 75 men on the waiting list. As a result of the challenges of facilitating in the transient Reception Center and the large demand, we are now translating the program into a self-study program which will give everyone who is motivated to “make their time count” the opportunity to participate.

Lionheart is going to seek funding to offer the self-study version in other CDCR Reception Centers as well. Our goal?… to be able to offer this to all incoming prisoners in CA – and then expand the program to other states! We will be reaching out to charitable foundations in CA to support this effort. As always, support and funding suggestions are more than welcome!

While we have been focusing on delivering the prison programs funded by the Innovative Grants, requests for Houses of Healing continue to come in from prisoners around the country.

“I am an inmate in Henning, TN. I am turning my life around and am doing everything I can to better myself so that I can be a better mother and a better citizen. I had a rough childhood but it is no excuse for my battle with drug addiction. I have been told about a book called Houses of Healing by several others. I was told that it would help me recover with more than just addiction. I hear that Houses of Healing is a life changer.” Christine. Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center – West Tennessee State Penitentiary

“I would definitely recommend HOH to others because it cracks the hard shell of the self-created personas created to survive in the streets. It installs compassion or turns it back on when its turned off. I love this course.” Augustus, New Jersey State Prison

The HOH Self-Study Course for Prisoners in Solitary: Although the grant that funded the selfstudy program for those in solitary ended in 2017, Lionheart continues to offer this course to prisoners in CA’s solitary units both in Pelican Bay and CSP-Corcoran. In total about 600 prisoners in CA solitary units (otherwise referred to as SHUs – Special Housing Units) have registered for the program. Feedback continues to be outstanding.

The HOH Self-Study Course for Prisoners on CA’s Death Row: To date an additional 50 men on CA’s death row have participated in the HOH Self-study Program. Perhaps you are aware that CA’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed an executive order to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in the state. The 737 people on death row will likely stay there indefinitely.

Power Source (PS)

After 20+ years of being in the field, this year is turning out to be a transitional year for Power Source, Lionheart’s program for highly at-risk adolescents. In February, The Department of Justice (DOJ), through its site, added Power Source to their list of “what works in juvenile justice.” , is an effort undertaken by the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to identify effective, quality programs and practices in the fields of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victimization to serve as evidence-based models for the field. Being included in this repository of evidence-based practices significantly raises the profile of the Power Source program. It is also now included in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Model Programs Guide.

Power Source Facilitator Manual Revision: The original PS Facilitator’s Manual was published in 2003. With the creation of the Power Source Workbook and valuable input from colleagues who have been utilizing the Power Source Program, Lionheart has hired Dr. Jess Linick to revise the manual. Jess served as a PS facilitator for our NIH PS study from 2005-2008 so she came on board with intimate knowledge of the program. Most recently she served as senior supervising psychologist at Horizons Secure Juvenile Detention Center in the Bronx (run by the NYC Administration of Children’s Services). Her extensive knowledge of other SEL (SocialEmotional Learning) programs, honed clinical skills, experience in curriculum development and in working with system involved youth, make her an exceptional addition to Lionheart’s staff. We are excited (and very relieved) to have Jess join us to lead the evolution of the PS program at this important juncture. We are already experiencing the benefit of her enormous value-added at Lionheart and we anticipate Jess taking on the position of Lionheart’s Director of Training.

EQ2 Beth is in the final stage of piloting EQ2. In December Lionheart received two new grants to support final rounds of piloting: one from The Boston Foundation to conduct two groups and a second from the TJX Foundation to conduct an additional two groups. These 4 groups are being held at The Home for Little Wanderers, Roca, The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Defense Fund, and Centerboard – all in the Boston area.

“I thought that I was being objective in most situations but realized that there were definitely better ways to go about things.”

“EQ2 allowed me to step outside of the frustration of behavioral management and recall what drives me to do this work.” Direct care workers – residential care

With generous support from the Boston Foundation we will also begin piloting EQ2 in a Connecticut juvenile detention center this week as a version of EQ2 is created specifically for staff in this setting.

Our second new hire is Elizabeth Wilcox, an experienced content strategist and Lionheart’s new part-time “productizer.” Elizabeth will be spearheading the online content development, marketing, and distribution of EQ2. She will bring her expertise to developing an online Learning Management System (LMS) that will be home of the EQ2 training content. Agencies wishing to use EQ2 will gain access to the printed version of the program only after completing a 6-session online training which will be created this summer. The licensing approach that will serve as the mechanism for distributing EQ2 will allow Lionheart to distribute new content as it is developed, as well as offer webinars and other trainings. We are so grateful to have Jess and Elizabeth join our team during this time of exciting expansion.

Moving Forward Lionheart’s new marketing efforts will build upon our strong internet presence. With our Adwords account donated by Google, Lionheart has had 8465 visits to our website in the past 30 days. Our sales have been strong and with the launch of new resources we expect this to grow.

Lionheart recently received the 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency on GuideStar. GuideStar’s stated mission is “to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.“ With this recognition, GuideStar wrote: “You’re helping the sector shift from a destructive focus on overhead ratios to a focus on making progress and getting results – Thank you!”

“Thank you” to our generous supporters for empowering us to bring our programs to the thousands of youth and adults who NEED what our programs have to offer in order to live workable and meaningful lives. Thanks again for helping us to get the transformative results that Lionheart’s programs support. Please help us keep this positive and forward-reaching momentum strong and give as generously as you can.

As always, I am Most sincerely and gratefully yours,