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Ujamaa Place · About Us
Twin Cities RISE! (TCR!) - Staff Directory
Director, Special Projects
(651) 366 - 6053
Roy Barker, the nonprofit's ...
Roy Barker, the nonprofit's executive director and the driving force behind the effort, might have the toughest job in town.
But the 58-year-old Bethel College graduate and others believe it can be done.
How? Through a holistic approach that includes completing a high-school diploma equivalency and other training; stable housing; and parenting, life and employment skills.
NO SAGGING PANTS, NO DISRESPECT
The group's ultimate mission, with the help of Barker
and two trained coaches on staff who provide guidance to the men along the way, is to empower each man to become "a successful individual, father, employee and citizen."
But there's little babying here.
To graduate from the eight-month program, a participant must remain drug- and trouble-free, complete his
high school degree, demonstrate "empowerment" life skills and hold down a job for at least three months.
The high standards - they include no sagging pants, sour attitudes or disrespect - has whittled the number of participants who applied and underwent the first two weeks of orientation this year from 98 to 30.
But Barker, a curriculum-programming specialist who formerly worked as special-projects director at Twin Cities Rise, a job skills training group based in the Twin Cities, expected the drop.
"They figure they are going to get a handout, and they find out they have to work," Barker
own account, Barker
was a dope dealer and hustler who began his
life of crime as an adolescent.
grew up in a notorious housing project on Chicago's South Side and, when he
was 4 or 5, saw his
father, now an ordained minister, stab a man in self-defense.
Like Roberson, his
surrogate fathers and role models were street thugs.
spent a year in jail awaiting trial for a murder he
did not commit.
Ujamaa Place Executive Director Roy Barker, 58, is a former drug dealer from Chicago's South Side who spent a year in jail awaiting trial for murder before being exonerated.
Ujamaa Place · Make a Donation
c/o Roy Barker, Executive Director
1885 University Avenue, Suite 298
St. Paul, MN 55104
Donations may also be made directly online through the giveMN.org tool:
Ujamaa Place · Contact
Roy Barker, Executive Director
Cell: (651) 271-7944