Formerly incarcerated Inglewood resident starts nonprofit to help young people

One Inglewood resident created a nonprofit to help youth and formerly incarcerated young people.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- One Inglewood resident who was formerly incarcerated is now trying to help others.

"Working with kids is one of the greatest gifts I think that God's ever given me," said Joslyn 'Ink' Beard, founder of Safe Bridges LA.

Beard has dedicated her life to helping young people.

"I think that young people aren't listened to enough," Beard said. "I'm really appreciative to have the gift to be able to build bridges with young people."

Beard said she was wrongfully convicted of sorority hazing and spent some time in jail as a young adult, so she understands how hard it is to transition into adulthood after being released.

"When I got out of jail, it was almost impossible to get a job," Beard said. "I was told more often than not that nobody wanted to work with a criminal, then people actually seeing me for who I am and that was really devastating."

In a tweet that went viral in early March, Beard announced her success in establishing her nonprofit, Safe Bridges LA.

"The premise of Safe Bridges LA is to create safe spaces and safe bridges to adulthood for young people. That's the primary goal," Beard said. "And the sub-sector is to create safe bridges back to your families for the formerly incarcerated of low-level offenders, specifically low-level like nonviolent offenses."

"Nobody really thinks about life after high school," said Imunique Young, one of Beard's student youths. "Something like Safe Bridges gives you something else to do like you if you feel like school's not it, you got all these other programs that you can do."

Beard said many people have reached out to offer support with her nonprofit, and she is working on future plans for providing housing to young people in and around Inglewood.

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