Amity Foundation Initiatives Update

Social Service + Social Justice = Social Change

Employment & Job Readiness

Education and employment are essential to the reintegration process.

Our partnerships with Chrysalis, Goodwill, the LGBTQ Center, Americorps and many others in the cities and counties of Los Angeles, San Diego and Tucson increases our ability to prepare students for the modern world and success.

Residential & Homelessness

Amity’s plan to open two more campuses is underway.
Riverside and La Entrada will be dedicated to 150 men and 60 women, respectively, completing their last years of incarceration with us rather than in prison where they can bolster their reintegration journey. Additionally, we have funding for a major renovation at the Amistad campus.

Chronic Homelessness
&
Mental Health

On the streets thousands of homeless people live with untreated mental health issues. Encounters with police are constant leading to a revolving door of arrest and release back to arrest again.

Housing, health services, court, police, and emergency room costs are tremendous on taxpayer dollars. With support and mental health services costs are greatly reduced and public safety is increased.

Anti-recidivism & Policy Work

Amity has partnered with numerous organizations to help overturn policies that counter our shared commitment to fix system wide problems including Prop 57, Three Strikes laws, Youth Lifer laws like Props 260 and 261. Over 1000 people who received life sentences have had their cases thrown out.
Amity Foundation is unique for its evidence-based “Extensions” curriculum that was developed and written over a 50-year period by Naya Arbiter. We are grateful for this innovative teaching plan that uses the work of Alice Miller, Carol Gilligan, Virginia Satir, Lawrence Kohlberg and many others.

Women’s Services

Our focus on the needs of women students has been a staple since the early 1980’s. We have been able to tailor and evolve our curriculum to meet all women’s needs, many of whom have experienced severe abuse. Of late, we are interested in using The Danger Assessment questionnaire, a tool that determines the level of danger a woman is in with her intimate partner.

With the increase of violence towards women we are looking forward to the opening of La Entrada de Los Angeles, a dedicated women’s campus.

Family Services

A key element in a student’s health is family reconciliation. Our family services can rebuild the often eroded roads in families, is instrumental in creating healthy family systems and new positive generational cycles. We are committed to quarterly two-day intensive workshops as well as regularly scheduled family sessions.

Training

Continuous training and teaching of faculty is a cornerstone of who Amity is. Throughout the year, teams move around campuses teaching the methodology of the Teaching and Therapeutic Community designed by experienced leaders with decades of experience. Our interviews, trainings and orientations for faculty are inventive and inclusive.

Evaluations

We’ve written two new instruments for in-house evaluations. One is a student satisfaction survey for all Amity campuses and our students at other providers for the purposes of fidelity to our model of community as method.

The second is an in-depth analysis of the health of our residential campuses themselves. It allows a detailed lens into the physical environment which is interconnected with and promotes a healthy emotional climate. Our goal is to create and maintain standards of excellence for our Teaching Communities.

Research

Amity’s research includes the Rand Corporation that is studying chronic homelessness and emergency room visits with Just in Reach students; Stanford University is looking statewide at Men’s Community Re-entry Projects (MCRP), which includes the men at both Amistad and Vista campuses; and UC Irvine is conducting further research in our prison projects, ensuring our models are effective in building depth and quality into social services.