Hello I am Trina Plyler
This is the ninth year for the CHANGE program
Let me tell you a little bit about how I got started
10 years ago I worked for the Workforce in 3 counties with at risk youth. I worked on keeping them in school and encouraging to think past graduation. What did they want to be when they grew up, etc.? I loved the job but traveling so much took me away from my family so I decided to resign. Well the kids in Mineral Wells kept calling me and soon I was meeting them once a week in the party room of Pizza Hut. I bought Pizza and we worked on different problems they were having. We outgrew the pizza hut about the time my husband had an accident and I had to go back to work. I got a job with the city but I continued to help people with jobs, information and resources.
Five years ago the church I attend asked if they could help with a space.
I began to hold meetings every Thursday in an old Church of Christ building on 8thst and 6th ave. I was pretty much on the corner of the hood and eightball alley as they call it. It was a perfect location.
I now hold a meeting on WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT 6:00PM FOR Parenting Class, Anger Management, the effects of Marijuana on parenting or whatever classes are needed per CPS Judge. We then from 7-8:00PM Have Celebrate Recovery Class and we feed everyone that comes and this is held at the Southside Church of Christ building. I mostly work with people on an individual basis at my office during the week Mon-Thur from 9-3.
At first I targeted 15-25 year olds. Now it is more like 10 to 70.
First thing we make sure is everyone has a social security card and an ID. I don’t help with driver’s license. You don’t need a DL to get a job. Sometimes it takes having to get a birth certificate. When you live a life style as some of these do those things can get lost. We take a van to Fort Worth as needed to get social security cards. Then we help find jobs. Teach about interviews, hygiene, dressing properly, being on time and ready to work and help filing out applications on line. We may have to help by getting khaki pants or steel toe boots at times.
We work with many people with addictions. When they are ready we find a rehab and get them set up.
We work with homeless. Not taking them off the streets but providing them resources to get themselves off the streets.
Community Service. We take people that need to complete community service with the city or county. I don’t only let them do community service but I try getting to know them and help them with other issues that they may need to CHANGE.
We help with kids in school and dropouts. First we want to keep kids in school. Did you know some kids get made fun of and bullied just because they only have one outfit to wear to school and it doesn’t get washed every day. They may need something as simple as deodorant. I had some boys in school being made fun of. Even though they were outstanding in sports they were made fun of because of their smell. We help dropouts find a GED class and will pay for the GED if needed. If they can’t make a GED class there is tutoring online.
People just out of prison. Most of them have burned all of their bridges before they went in and when they get out they have no one to help them get back into society. If they have a felony it’s hard to find a job and so many go right back to what got them in prison in the first place because that’s all they know and they have to survive. We try to educate. Did you know If a person has a drug charge they cannot get food stamps or housing? Also if someone has community service with the city they can do their community service with me.
It doesn’t take lots of funds to do what we do but it does take a lot of time. The most important asset we have is our time. Once it’s gone its gone. To give someone your time is a wonderful gift. We have held a dog show for three years called the DOGGIE PALOOZA where we pick the ugliest dog of Mineral Wells and 11 other categories. The show serves two purposes. We allow venders to set up for free by donating a basket for a silent auction. The auction brings in some money. People entering their dog pay a small entrance fee. But mostly it’s for our community. The last couple of years we have had around 300 people. We provide free hotdogs and drinks, you can watch a crazy dog show that’s clean fun.
Offer Classes. We work with families and CPS by offering parenting classes, Anger management, Effects of Marijuana and parenting, and Effects of Meth and Parenting. We also teach Budgeting classes, Goal Setting.
The one thing that really sets us apart is the fact that they have to payback everything we do by giving of their time. Just to get one of our cool t-shirts cost two hours. It builds pride. Most of them have been a product of the system and know how to survive that way and it’s no fault of their own. They have been taught that through many generations. If you give free turkeys out at Thanksgiving every year the list gets longer each year. But they have to earn the turkey you quickly find out who really needs them. And they are proud of the fact they earned it. We can choose to ignore what goes on around us but I choose to do something about it. Thank you.