Tag Archives: Kim Combs

REENTRY HEAVEN

Two more articles, as published in V.2.N.1., April 2016, Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory:

GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS REENTRY DAY

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Pedestrian bridge spanning the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Right now … if you leave prison, you get $100 and a bus ticket,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson laid out his plan for the state prison system Feb. 18, 2015.

“That is really not going to help reduce repeat offenders from going back in,” he said. “They need an opportunity. The reentry centers will help them find their way back into society.”

On Wednesday, April 13, several dozen civic and social advocacy groups and many members of the general public who are affected by these issues rallied on the front steps of the Capitol in a show of support for proposed reforms, such as the hiring of additional parole and probation officers, the creation of a transitional reentry center program and alternative (non-prison) sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Coordinated by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition, the rally featured several distinguished speakers representing various agencies and organizations which actively provide reentry support service.

“Because the impact of incarceration is so great on the individual, their families, and society as a whole, it takes an array of service providers, public policy experts, faith-based groups, community organizations and support services to assist with transition to return to society and avoid the situations that lead to recidivism,” Robert Kim Combs, Chair of CARE’s Policy & Law Committee, explained the complexity of the problem.

“No one entity can do it all and do it effectively,” he said. “This rally brought together a number of the people and organizations that are helping and to tell the story of the 56% of people who successfully return to free society without re-offending. And it is important to acknowledge that many of these groups are working without government support.”
In appreciation of these collaborative efforts, an official Proclamation of the Governor, declaring April 13, 2016, as ARKANSAS COMMUNITY REENTRY DAY, was read and, concluding the presentation, attendees toured the Capitol to meet legislators and learn about the General Assembly.

For more information, visit www.ArkansasReentry.com or call (501) 444-CARE.

So…THIS IS HEAVEN???

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“Fiesta” — statue at The Rivermarket in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Regina Strehl

A man was visited by the Archangel Gabriel and invited to tour both heaven and hell so he could report back to his brethren and give a firsthand account of what the afterlife was like.

In hell he found a beautiful earth-like land, replete with towering mountains, deep-green forests, babbling brooks and sunny blue skies.

Rows and rows of tables, stretching as far as the eye could see and piled high with the most delicious food imaginable, stretched across the gorgeous countryside, yet masses of emaciated people roamed among the tables, moaning and weeping.

Every person had a huge fork strapped to each arm, above and below the elbow, which made it impossible to bend their arms to get any of the food into their mouths.
Try as they might to feed themselves, everyone was starving.

“What a horrible fate to endure,” said the man.

“Yes,” said the Archangel Gabriel. “Perpetual starvation in the midst of abundance. That is why we call it hell.”

Then POOF!!! The man was whisked-away to heaven where the view was nearly identical: rows and rows of delicious food spread upon tables across the bucolic land.

There, too, huge forks were double-strapped to the people’s arms which stopped them from feeding themselves, yet all were healthy and happy. “Because in heaven,” said Gabriel, “we all feed each other.” ~author unknown

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Volume 2, Number 1

With a hale and hearty ‘hip-hip-hooray’, Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory for Little Rock & Pulaski County, went to print (thanks to the awesome professional wherewithal of ALL the fine folks at Leader Publishing) on April 11, 2016…!!!

Nearly half of the 20,000 V.2.N.1. full-color 24-page newspapers are now in distribution (see Find Us for locations), thanks to the diligence and shoe leather of Help YourSelf Publisher & General Manager, Robert Kim Combs, who has been hot-footing it all around the community delivering bundles for the last month whilst I — being the lazy editor I am <smile> — vacationed with my kids in Japan.

Long story short, the PDF edition of V.2.N.1. is readily available for your online download, perusal and sharing. And if you would like to join our ever growing list of distributors, contact Kim, rkimc@hotmail.com

(((hugs))) ~Christine

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Fresh updates…

Happy to announce double-header updates <smile>… for starters, the most current PDF of the Van Buren County Community Resources Directory, compiled by all-around-good-person Sue Pico, is now available: click here. Huge thanks go to Sue for her diligent tenacity with updating and expanding the valuable community resource which, when she first published it in November of 2014, had barely 3 pages of listings and now is up to a whopping 10 pages….!!! Great work Sue….!!!! Now if we could just inspire the other 73 counties in Arkansas to follow suit…!!!

Also, the most current PDF of the Little Rock / Pulaski County “Compassion Resources Directory” (Resource Provider Edition) which contains all the service provider listings that will soon go to print in V.2-N.1 of Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory is now available for you to download and share: click here 

And if you ever wonder about what goes on behind the scenes of Help YourSelf… or what our illustrious Publisher does with (most of) his free time… just look to the nearest good-works project, community event or educational rally and somewhere there you will likely find Kim…

 

Open Door Outreach recently volunteered with the City Wide Cleanup on Saturday, March 12. Volunteers adopted a section of Main Street and made it look wonderful. An amazing group of ODOers (Kim is second from the right) came to help!

Open Door Outreach recently volunteered with the City Wide Cleanup on Saturday, March 12. Volunteers adopted a section of Main Street and made it look wonderful. An amazing group of ODOers (Kim is second from the right) helped!

 

 

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Dancing with life after death.

Wednesday last, I died.

At least that’s what I’m told, having no recollection of the event which, as per various news clips, occurred at the Arkansas State Capitol on the afternoon of January 28, during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting

“A woman had a heart attack,” 5NEWS reported. “Arkansas Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, performed CPR.”

“The woman (who would be me) was slumped back in her chair, taking small gasps of air,” Woods told reporters.

Accounts continue that when my face went pale, I was laid down on the floor so that Senator Woods could administer CPR until a medical crew arrived a few minutes later to stabilize me. Also, that Dr. Jim Bledsoe (spouse of state Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers) and Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, assisted in the life-saving intervention, which at one point involved the use of a defibrillator.

And there were obviously many others onsite at the Capitol, along the way of Emergency Medical Transport, and at UAMS where I was admitted who had a hand in my survival. Yet the truth is, I remember nearly nothing about any of it except that I am forever appreciative of all quick and sincere efforts given by so many people to saving my life.

For the record, as I regained conscious awareness of my surroundings and what had taken place, I was informed of treatment options and consulted with my adult-children about what course of action to take. Thus on Thursday afternoon, about 24-hours after my admission to UAMS, I was released to travel home to Van Buren County and begin my recovery.

Now, being one full week into my rehabilitation, I am thrilled to say that things are going great. I slept really well the last couple of nights and breakfast this morning –- which I prepared for myself – tasted totally great.

A few big things have changed, however. Most notably the February publication of Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory, which I edit and layout, is temporarily on hold. And I don’t plan to be doing any Can-Can dancing for a while!

What I do plan is to continue reclaiming good health and expressing my appreciation for all those aforementioned who helped rescue me, especially including my five fabulous adult-children, three of whom reside out of state, flew home immediately to be at my side and have been pampering me ever since.

Also I am compelled to especially acknowledge my dear friend, professional colleague and business partner, Robert Kim Combs, who was at my side from the moment I succumbed at the capitol straight through my release from the hospital and beyond, making multiple trips from the Little Rock airport to my home near Clinton, chauffeuring my incoming kids.

Thanks & (((hugs)))… ~Christine

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Champion Awards

We are both proud and humbled: Help YourSelf Publisher & General Manager, Robert Kim Combs, was among a select group of business professionals, agencies and elected officials recognized by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition as CHAMPIONS of proactive reentry advocacy and public service.  Click here to see our pictorial of the Awards Luncheon and learn more about what what these folks did to deserve the recognition…!!!

Champions All: (left to right): Senator Eddie Joe Williams, Publisher Robert Kim Combs, City of Little Rock (Andre Bernard), CSI Construction (Jonathan Seman), Senator Stephanie Flowers, Senator Joyce Elliot,  Office of Child Support Enforcement (Dan McDonald).

Champions All (left to right): Senator Eddie Joe Williams, Publisher Robert Kim Combs, City of Little Rock (Andre Bernard), CSI Construction (Jonathan Seman), Senator Stephanie Flowers, Senator Joyce Elliot, Office of Child Support Enforcement (Dan McDonald).

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Learn to Earn

“We see this as a ‘beta model’ test-pilot segment of a comprehensive
reentry system in Arkansas,” Robert Kim Combs, Publisher & General
Manager of Help YourSelf: Community Resources Directory, discussed his
company’s “Learn to Earn” program, set for official debut next month.

Assembled by Combs and partner Christine Beems, Help YourSelf
Editor-in-Chief, the training and development program aims to
replicate several of the successful practices discussed during a
6-month round of legislative hearings.

“Our intention is simply to be responsive to the important questions
being posed by our legislators, about what to do to alleviate
Arkansas’s overcrowded prisons,” Combs, whose debut print edition of
the full-color 24-page tabloid ‘community resources’ publication went
into distribution barely two months ago and now has over 16,000 copies
circulating around Little Rock and throughout Pulaski County,
explained his organization’s objectives for the Learn to Earn program.

“One highly successful prison program in another state made it
possible for inmates to earn a good income during incarceration,”
Beems elaborated. “This made it possible for them to pay child
support, clear fines and make restitution, which double-dipped
benefits to taxpayers. It also gave inmates a leg to stand on when
they reentered free society, because they had developed marketable
skill. And the skill that proved most viable was sales.”

Training as a sales and marketing professional, as per the program’s
curriculum, includes skill-development with public speaking, customer
service, information management, accurate record-keeping, doing
research and making presentations. Also included are ongoing
assessments of competency to succeed and individual mentoring for
remediation, all of which were, according to Beems, identified during
the legislative hearings as key competencies necessary for successful
reentry.

“Our legislators are considering a massive shift in the fundamental
practices of our punitive justice system,” Combs homed-in on a topic
near and dear to ongoing legislative debate: the difference in benefit
and outcome between developing programs to dramatically increase the
number of people who transition from prison back into their family and
community successfully, versus spending $200-million-plus to build a
new prison.

“And they rightly need to see some examples of reentry practices that
work,” Combs concluded. “Because, after all, it is not just our tax
dollars but our overall safety and well-being as a society that is at
stake.”

Details of the Learn to Earn program, which is offered free of charge,
will be discussed during a meet-and-greet luncheon, 10am to 2pm,
Thursday, January 15, at the Help YourSelf administrative office in
Van Buren County. Program administrators, parole officers, church and
good-works group leaders and civic officials are encouraged to attend
this orientation, and to bring potential candidates for enrollment in
the 6-week training program.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Combs at 501-563-2197 or
visit the Learn to Earn page on this website.

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First run

Chritine Beems, Editor in Chief, and Kim Combs,  Publisher & General Manager of Help YourSelf, accept delivery of 20,000 'hot off the press' copies of their Community Resources Directory debut edition.

Christine Beems, Editor in Chief, and Kim Combs, Publisher & General Manager of Help YourSelf, accept delivery of 20,000 ‘hot off the press’ copies of their Community Resources Directory debut edition.      ~photo courtesy of Leader Publishing

For more about this great publishing adventure, visit our NEWS page.

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