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Coffee Talk, RNs, and Dr. Hart-Johnson

--Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson

There are song lyrics that I can hear in my head, as I type this post about the Halfway House. I think it is by the Beatles (dating myself here for sure): "I get by with a little help from my friends."

As I hum those lyrics, I reflect on the beauty and power of relationships and networks. I do appreciate the relationships developed over the past 5 years of evolving our life skills program. 'Coffee Talk and Me Time' is a program that I developed and refined over the years.

In the past, I used to facilitate the class alone. This helped to keep me grounded in the work. As an executive of DCPC, it can busy as we write and create publications, advocate, and support families impacted by incarceration. Coffee Talk is a psycho-educational program designed for women who are transitioning home from prison and are currently at a Halfway House.

Recently since the COVID19 pandemic, we have had to get creative on two fronts. First, we had to retool and revise our face to face programming with virtual options that offered the same safe space, ethical considerations, and privacy as the in person setting. Second, we had to figure out how to continue to fund the $100.00 per week refreshments and get those refreshments to the residents of the Halfway House. this may seem like a small fee, but if Coffee Talk is held each week, it is about $400.00 per month. This can get expensive. It's not coffee talk if you have no coffee and bagels or donuts!

So, we figured out how to manage the project and meet the two aforementioned challenges. We began to invite "sponsors" to present their work. This has been the best idea and the residents of the halfway house are so fortunate to have such talented speakers. Here, we offer an article that showcases some of our guest speakers who are talented Registered Nurses.

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