Sasha Bruce

Vernon’s Story

Testimony to the DC Council’s Department of Human Services by Vernon Perry
March 13, 2013

Council Members and other Members of the Committee:

Good Morning/Afternoon, My name is Vernon Perry and first I’d like to say that it’s an absolute honor to be here and testify. I am a trainee at Sasha Bruce YouthBuild Workforce Development program and was very disturbed when I found out that funding is potentially being cut for the future of YouthBuild.

Without Sasha Bruce Independent Living Program, I’d be homeless. Sasha Bruce has given me the first pillow in almost two years to lay my head on…

YouthBuild has assisted me with finding transitional housing, my education, and job training. Where I stand today is a very important position because it shows how far I have come with the struggles that have occurred in my life. Without Sasha Bruce Independent Living Program, I’d be homeless. Sasha Bruce has given me the first pillow in almost two years to lay my head on, considering the fact I’ve been moving from house to house with no stability at all. Now, with the city cutting back on funds for YouthBuild, other programs like it could disappear, and so would the future of our youth.

The world is a cycle and everything repeats itself. I’m not the only homeless child, and surely won’t be the last but with a program like YouthBuild there could be change. Since I’ve been placed in housing by Sasha Bruce’s Independent Living Program- I’ve had less stress, a great state of mind, and an overall healthy body. No student should go to school and constantly worry about where home is when school is finished.

Take a moment and think about the crime rate of our youth. Sasha Bruce gives us young people a second opportunity in life, even though they thought no one would ever give it to them. Instead of making an illegal, tax free dollar, youth come to YouthBuild to actually make an honest living, and remember that life isn’t a joke and not to take it for granted. Money for Sasha Bruce or any other program like it shouldn’t be cut short of funds but yet should be granted more funding day after day. Sasha Bruce is here for the people.

Again, I’m Vernon Perry, a trainee from the Sasha Bruce YouthBuild and I thank you for your time. Have a nice day.