Now it’s the women’s turn.
Kevin Livingston, a bank employee and community advocate, who recently collected business attire for gang members as part of his 100 Suits for 100 Men program, has now set his sights on the female residents of Southeast Queens.
He calls his new initiative, what else — 100 Suits for 100 Women — and instead of gang members, he will be helping battered women in shelters who need assistance in order to find employment.
“I’m not an organization,” Livingston said at the June 20th Community Board 12 meeting. “I don’t have a 501(c)3. I’m not incorporated. This is something I’m doing from my pocket. I’m not here for applause.”
As with his initial project, launched in December, the program will provide outreach and job training as well as clothes. It will include resume-writing assistance and self-esteem classes and will culminate with a job fair.
Livingston, a business officer at Carver Federal Savings Bank in Jamaica, who admits to only having an eighth-grade education but has achieved success through hard work and dedication, has been trying to generate interest in his programs by speaking about them at several Community Board 12 meetings.
“I wish I had more support from the community,” Livingston said. “I need people that are honest and real and really want to help me get these kids off these streets.”
Livingston, 33, planned to hand out 70 suits from his first venture to people turning in weapons at the gun buyback program last Saturday at St. Benedict the Moor Church in Jamaica [see separate story] and the remaining 30 will go to members of the Bloods street gang at the South Jamaica Houses.
“It’s been an uphill battle to get brothers to change when they are used to living a certain way,” Livingston said. “It hasn’t been easy, but I’m very passionate about this.”
And he’s not just doing suit drives and job outreach.
On Monday, Livingston and some volunteers were to take 35 recent high school graduates to a live taping of the television show “106 and Park” where they were to hang out with the son of Sean “P. Ditty” Combs, a trip made possible with the help of City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).
The dropoff locations for the suit drive are the Sean Elijah Bell Community Center at 107-52 Sutphin Blvd. in Jamaica and Marvelous Cuts at 132-08 111 Ave., also in Jamaica. For more information, contact Livingston at (347) 472-2519.