Kristy Childs, Founder/Director of Veronica’s Voice
In July, 2000, supported by a start-up grant from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kristy launched a new program of services offered specifically to prostituted persons in Kansas City in honor of Veronica Neverdusky, a victim of commercial sexual exploitation murdered in 1993. It began in Kristy’s dining room. Early services included staffing a 24-hour crisis line with survivors of prostitution to address victims’ needs for urgent care support, and reaching out to women on the streets with peer support and personal items. The effort has expanded, contracted and branched out over time providing services and help as the need it itself changed. Some of the programs they started were a comprehensive restorative justice program, or “Johnz School” to educate buyers on the realities of commercial sexual exploitation, and an alternative sentencing program allowing women charged with prostitution or related crimes to receive diversion from incarceration and intensive probation supervision. 2003 brought the opening of the “Safe Center,” an outreach and recovery center in one of Kansas City’s most well-known areas for crime, prostitution and drugs. Veronica’s Voice received the Northeast Community Betterment Award for its work enhancing the quality of life in the Independence Plaza Neighborhood.
Over the years Veronoica’s Voices efforts have been fought by those who seek to exploit others for their own gain, those who blame the victims for their plight and The Not In My Neighborhood folks that felt that efforts to help victims would just draw the activity into their area. Their latest effort, a residential facility for victims while they transition was opposed in Midtown KCMO but finally has found a home in Kansas City, Kansas. Today host Nancy Leazer talks with Kristy about the journey, the successes and failures and of course the future.
Veronica’s Voice, PO Box 172472, Kansas City, KS 66117
Office: (816) 483-7101 Crisis Line: 816-728-0004
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/veronicasvoice/?fref=ts
Juvenile Justice Reforms Pass The Kansas Legislature
The Kansas City Star said it could be “the most significant Kansas public policy reform this year.” The Kansas Legislature passed Senate Bill 367 by overwhelmingly bipartisan votes – 40 to 0 in the Senate; 118 to 5 in the House. This legislation makes improvements to nearly every step of the state’s juvenile justice system and is projected to reduce youth incarceration by 60% and invest more than $70 million in community alternatives over the next five years. Currently, Kansas has one of the highest youth incarceration rates in the country.
Host Craig Lubow talks ith Benet Magnusson Kansas Appleseed will be working with communities across the state over the next year to seize the opportunities created by Senate Bill 367. The juvenile justice reforms shift the state’s funding and focus away from incarceration and back towards community alternatives that do a better job of getting kids onto the right path. Please contact us if you’d like to champion these reforms in your community and help bring state funding back to local programs for youth.
The JoJR Calendar for May 16th 2016
Corey’s Network and Chuck E Cheese are teaming up to raise funds to help families of murder victims bury their loved one. The next fundraiser is Thursday, May 19th from 3 to 9 pm at the Chuck E Cheese store, 18701 E 39th Street, Independence, MO. Corey’s Network will receive 15% of all food sales. ____________
The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty presents From Prison to Freedom: One man’s journey calls us to forgiveness, reform, and an end to capital punishment. Their speaker will be Floyd Bledsoe who was wrongfully convicted and spent 15 years in prison before being exonerated. Join them at 7:00 pm, Saturday, May 21st, at St. John the Evangelist Church, 1234 Kentucky St, Lawrence, KS. This event is open to all.
The ACLU of Kansas is hosting their first ever statewide conference. The Free State Forum which will be held Saturday, May 21st, 3-9 pm at Abe & Jake’s Landing, 8 E 6th St., Lawrence, Kansas. Hear from Pulitzer Prize winner Leonard Pitts Jr., Attend breakout sessions on the most urgent civil liberties issues in Kansas and Network with other civil rights and civil liberties activists.
The KC chapter of Mothers in Charge, Healing Support Group will be meeting Thursday, May 19th from 5-7 PM at the Robert J Mohart Multipurpose Center, Suite 124 W, 3200 Wayne Ave, KCMO. This group is for people who have lost loved ones to murder and violence. The first hour will be sharing of experiences and in the second hour therapists and others who can who can help navigate the emotional and legal terrain will be available. For more information you can find them on the web at kcmothersincharge.org or call them at 816-912-2601.
Join One Struggle KC and Una Lucha KC for their final event of the four part series on Art and Healing for communities of color, Sunday, May 22nd, 12 noon – 4 PM. This Family Field Day will be at Wyandotte County Lake Shelter house #2, at N 91st St and Leavenworth Rd, Kansas City, KS. Join them for Games, Sack Races, Capture the Flag, Egg Walk, Kickball, Double Dutch, Hop Scotch, Tie-Die & Art Stations. Attendees may obtain any of their coloring/activity books for a donation.