Probation officer, Chelan County District Court Probation
Angel Guerra graduated from Wenatchee High School in 2011. He attended Eastern Washington University for a year, but financial issues prompted a change of plan. He ended up trying out for Peninsula College’s soccer team and was given a full ride to play for them.
After earning his AA degree, he received multiple offers to continue to play soccer out of state, but decided he wanted to stay closer to home. He enrolled instead in The Evergreen State College, setting his sights on a bachelor’s degree in social work.
While there, he participated in a program that required working with juveniles in the Green Hill Medium/ Maximum security prison.
After graduating — the first in his family to earn a college degree — he worked for Children’s Home Society for three years and then became a case manager in the Therapeutic Foster Care Program.
About two years ago, he started working as a probation officer with Chelan County, monitoring adult misdemeanor offenders.
What challenges do you see ahead, and what do you believe needs to be done to get prepared?
Homelessness and drug use. Every day I see younger people being introduced to drugs and living in the street. It does not take one person to change that, but a whole community.
Many times we see a homeless person and judge them, but don’t reach out to help them.
We need more mental health programs around town that can help them out. We have a mentality as Americans that money solves every issue, and that is not the case.
If we do not do anything about it now it will only get worse.
I work with many homeless at my job and they say it is easy to live in the streets because they get help financially from the government, they get free food from local agencies, but what we need are services that will keep them from going to the street. For example, more local rehab locations, places where they will learn to go back into society. Agencies that will help them get a job once they are clean and continue to support them once they leave the system.
The reason why they reoffend is because they are thrown out in a society that has already labeled them as “bad” and that is all they know what to do.