DEUCE Community Update: November 2023


A seat at the table for everyone who is hungry. We say those words a lot.

It’s more of a vision for the future than a current reality. DEUCE imagines a world in which ANYONE who is determined to do so can close the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

Take a second to imagine that with us. A society where everyone, despite their background, is able to actualize the most authentic version of themselves and their potential.

We get really excited about it.

When we start to imagine this, we start to think about what the current roadblocks are, about what is jamming this vision up.

For me, a huge obstacle that I didn’t understand was in place was what woke people call a "lack of representation". I had never seen anyone like myself make it.

I had never seen anyone like myself make it.

I felt like the road to a different way of life was unpaved. I felt alone.

A defining moment for me was checking in with my gang when I got out of prison. It was my responsibility to do this and the person I was under had the responsibility of making sure I had a pistol and dope to sell so I could take care of myself.

Fortunately, I reported to the right person. We had a very long conversation about my desire to stay out and stay sober. He looked at me In the eyes and asked me if I was going to do it. With a lot of doubt in my voice, I told him that I didn’t know. Without wavering, he told me that he knew I could do it, that he had done it, and that I was right not to take the dope.

Before that moment, I could only imagine that someone who had been through the same experiences I had and made the same choices I had could make it out. Now, I had hope. If it was possible for him, it was possible for me.

He offered himself to me as a mentor and helped me navigate life outside of a box. I could go to him for anything, he even helped pay my rent one month when I was short telling me that he was proud of me for not going back to the streets. He would fight me about this, but without his support, I would have gone back.

The above experience is exactly why we have lived experience mentorship at the core of our program. DEUCE Community Inc. asks the people in our program to do incredibly hard things. One of the ways that we empower them to do these things is by shattering their paradigm around what they are capable of and what their future could look like.

The biggest wins of our program aren’t recorded. They happen in the space of conversations or unspoken observations like the one above. There is a shift in people when they cast out an old idea about themselves and begin forging a new one. This isn’t possible without the examples of people in our program who have gone the distance.

People like David Gonzales, Joseph Bruner, and Jose Bojorquez. Through the lives that they lead, they are inspiring others to push toward something different.

It is our hope that in this way, we can erode the biggest obstacle for people who are system, substance, and housing impacted, their own self-belief.

Campbell Lillard
DEUCE Community Inc. Co-Founder

Every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. | Community Workout at DEUCE Gym @ 110 Lincoln Blvd. Note: The November 18th Workout is Canceled. 

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. View Amazon Wishlist.