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CSD has existed for 20 years, but only recently became incorporated and tax exempt. CSD's goals are to bring the Christian message of forgiveness, restorative justice and peace to at-risk youth, former gang members, other young adult men and women in probation or parole programs, and their victims, and to offer prevention and rehabilitation services to reduce recidivism and help them become productive citizens. Such services may include:
1. Pastoral care, restorative justice, spiritual guidance, forgiveness and prayer;
2. Development of facilities, activities, and empowerment programs, including education, literacy and vocational training;
3. Economic development and employment programs for job readiness;
4. Transitional housing and residential assistance; and
5. Recreational opportunities for youth.
The youth we serve are uniformly from the poorest families in our area. In many cases, they are undocumented, with no immediate family support at all. They are either still in custody, or recently released. "Downtrodden" defines their circumstances, but not their youthful optimism. Actually, they often are more optimistic about their future than the volunteers who work with them. They believe in themselves, but need significant help. Hope for the future, and a belief in the saving power of Jesus Christ, are intertwined so profoundly, that even one small act of kindness can deeply affect one youth's entire outlook. This proposal will offer real hope of hard work, work that is too often denied to those who want and need it, to the poor and marginalized youth we see every day.
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