Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jailbrakers - community support group

A volunteer-based community youth and family support group continues to serve McHenry County families who have an incarcerated loved one. The group, called Jailbrakers, was formed to support those who have a family member in jail or prison and to break the cycle of stigma that often surrounds family members.

A pilot program started last fall. Due to its success and requests by the families, the group is preparing to launch its third series of group sessions. This program was initiated by Ms. Cheryl Niemo, who is a Family Resource Developer with Family Service & Community Mental Health Center, McHenry, Ill. (Jailbrakers is not associated with Family Service.) Through her work in the county and her personal experience, Cheryl discovered that this is a population of McHenry County citizens needing support services around emotional and family matters addressing stigma, fear, shame and isolation. This independent, volunteer-based community program is free to those who attend.

On Friday, October 29, at 6:30pm, Cheryl Niemo will be conducting the volunteer training at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 221 Dean St., Woodstock, Ill. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please plan to join in. The group would love to have your support.

A 12-week support group will begin on Friday, November 5, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Woodstock.

A Turkey Bingo Fundraiser at the Woodstock Moose Lodge, 406 Clay St., is scheduled for Saturday, November 13th, from 3pm-6pm. Come and play Bingo at the Fundraiser. There will also be a Silent Auction; the group will appreciate donations of goods or services.

For information or with questions, contact Cheryl Niemo by email via jailbrakers@gmail.com

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