Up From Darkness

California has to take a new course
July 27, 2008, 3:44 am
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A slew of wild fires, declining supplies of water, a chronic budget deficit and rising unemployment mark the headlines in California newspapers daily.  Increasing street violence also makes people feel uneasy.  I had the opportunity to let Attorney General Jerry Brown know that our model of restoration for persons shackled by addiction and incarceration is a big part of the solution.  He was speaker for the economic summit of the Black American Political Action Committee at Bethel A.M.E. Church Saturday.


Featured on ABC-7 this evening
July 3, 2008, 9:04 pm
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KGO-TV reporter Vic Lee conducted an interview with Up From Darkness executive director Rev. Regnaldo Woods which is scheduled to air on the 6 p.m. newscast on Channel 7 Thursday, July 3.

In other news, Up From Darkness is holding its first fundraising event, the three-day presentation of Queen Calafia: Ruler of California starring Ursaline Bryant in the Buriel Clay Theatre of the African-American Art and Culture Complex at 762 Fulton St. at 7 p.m. each evening. Click to donate to our work by attending the play.

We see grace daily
June 13, 2008, 5:54 pm
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Up From Darkness Founder Rev. Regnaldo Woods

For more than 15 years, we have believed in the power of the Creator to restore lives who have been racked by incarceration and addiction.   It is an enormous undertaking to bring dozens of men who have lost faith in institutions to come together in common cause to improve themselves and their communities.   But every time someone gains employment, begins to support themselves and their families and maintains their clean and sober status, it is a true blessing to all of us. You can help Up From Darkness bring down the enormous cost of our corrections system by supporting our first fundraiser on July 29-31, 2008.

Congress gives a Second Chance
June 13, 2008, 5:38 pm
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Up From Darkness volunteers plant treesIn the early 1990s, Congress invested $20 billion in prisons and hiring additional police with the result of creating an enormous boom in the prison population, that is, frankly, bankrupting many states and local governments.

Had the same amount been invested in schools instead, we would have had a much different history.

Yet here we are in a state like California that spends more on its prisons than its universities.

The new Second Chance Act, although only funded at one-fortieth of that investment in prisons, is a good first step to begin to bring the collateral damage of the war on drugs back into society. Congress realized what I  saw 15 years ago, that people who had been in prison needed to restore their lives in an environment that gave them dignity and gave communities a new way to see them.

At Up From Darkness, we give our students the chance to start over, training them in the ways to deal with their internal crises and family concerns and surrounding them 24 hours with a continuum of reinforcement against the streets and the pen.

We’ve put more than 200 persons back to work and living normal lives, because we put them back in an environment of normalcy.

For less than one-eighth what it costs to keep someone in prison or jail, we can turn them into a productive tax paying citizen with a high degree of civic involvement.

The Second Chance Act, championed by Rep. Danny Davis and signed by President Bush, puts $500 million in the efforts like ours.  We hope that policymakers will choose culturally-responsive, community-based efforts like Up From Darkness as the models for a comprehensive national re-entry program.

Restoration of broken lives
May 28, 2008, 8:55 pm
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Danny Glover addresses Circle of Elders summitUp From Darkness offers restoration to those seeking to overcome addiction and incarceration.  Call us at 415-447-4234 or  visit our offices at 1075 Fillmore St. San Francisco, CA 94115

Founded by Rev. Regnaldo Woods with the late Reggie Glover 15 years ago, it is widely renowned for its success in bringing society’s outcasts back into grace.

Recent stories in the Bay Guardian, City Star, Western Edition and newscasts on KPIX-Channel 5, and KGO-Channel 7 are a testiment to its impact.

We operate two clean and sober residences in the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco where we support the NOVA (No Violence Alliance) of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, the San Francisco Housing Authority, the Clean Slate program of the San Francisco Public Defender and the San Francisco Dept. of Child Support Services.

The State of California faces a crisis in corrections with billions diverted from education and other services to house inmates.   Reentry programs like Up From Darkness are an important solution to that dilemma.

To offer your support by offering a job to someone seeking a second chance, an educational placement, donating furniture or equipment, or providing additional residential space for this growing population, call Rev. Regnaldo Woods at 415-447-4234.