DEUCE Community Update: February 2024


When I run an event, I like to think I have a fairly good idea of what will happen. The things I think about preceding are mostly logistical and hospitality-based. Therefore, those are the issues that I see arising. Even though the nonprofit has some incredible people and stories surrounding it, I’m so embedded in these on a day-to-day basis that I imagine other people will be the ones getting emotional.

During the first Tattoo pop-up, I found myself standing next to a friend talking about the event and what it meant to each of us. As we were talking, I noticed something occurring that I could have never imagined. One of our DEUCE Community Coaches was set up in a corner of the gym tattooing an LAPD homicide detective. This particular Coach had been sentenced to life in prison as a juvenile. His crime was murder. 

The scene is forever etched in my memory, I get emotional whenever I think about it. I was too far away to hear what they were talking about, but undeniably they were sharing a moment of connection and seeing each other as human. 

Police are not the only ones who wear uniforms. Gangsters wear them too. I imagine that, at times, an Officer’s uniform can be just as restricting and hard to take off as the one I used to wear. 

The experience shared by these two continues to remind me that regardless of our pasts or what uniform we put on each day, we all feel the same things; hope, despair, loneliness, ambition, anxiety, triumph, and joy.

Recognizing these emotions in one another is infinitely more powerful than searching for polarizing differences.

Our first Annual Film Fest was stressful for me, but I did not imagine there would be much time for emotion or reflection. I was absorbed in trying to run a great event despite some significant logistical difficulties. I had seen every video being shown multiple times. I was involved with the creation of all but one of the films. I thought that there was nothing new here for me and that I would be there running a projector and pressing buttons so that other people could experience emotion. 

I could not have been more blind to what was about to happen. 

I see myself in all of the people whose stories we showcased. But that day, I saw all of us together in the same place. And we saw each other. 

We have realized a dream. A dream that for a long time felt impossible. None of us had a model for what it meant to make it. That day, we found ourselves together in an old gym speaking about the journies we had been on, variations of the same path. 

Then, a new dream seemed possible. 

We saw a reality where transformations like ours are the rule and not the exception. 

This gives me hope for the world and drive for the work that we do at DEUCE. 

I’m grateful for moments like these that bring me back to myself. Moments that take me away from running and building a thing and remind me why I’m here. 

Campbell Lillard
DEUCE Community Inc. Co-Founder

Missed the Film Fest? Catch the videos HERE

DEUCE Community begins Business Prep 101 Course

DEUCE Community has catalyzed the creation of multiple entrepreneurial ventures by those who are system, substance, and housing-impacted. We are seeking to accelerate the creation of new businesses by involving members from our community in our program offerings, like our Business Prep course.

Business Prep 101 is a deep dive into principled entrepreneurship. Our Co-Founder Logan Gelbrich wrote the course, which is primarily offered online as a premium educational offering.

To better enable those in our programs to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be, we’ve partnered with Mass Liberation to offer an in-person version of Business Prep for participants of our program AND members of the community.

The idea here is to connect entrepreneurs from the community Like Jay De Natale, founder of Vale with students in our programs so that we can all grow inside of one developmental container. The hope is that the diversity of the cohorts will provide growth and opportunity for everyone involved.

Interested in being involved in the next cohort? Email 


Every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. | Community Workout at DEUCE Gym @ 110 Lincoln Blvd.

February 1st | DEUCE Community moves to a larger housing facility. This transition would not be possible without the support of people like you!



The Amazon Prime packages that show up on the porch of the DEUCE Community House mean more to these guys than you can possibly imagine. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. 

Amazon Wishlist