Tona Wakefield, the County Jail’s discharge planner and a Casa Esperanza employee, received one of six Community Champion Words to Deeds Paradigm Awards during a ceremony last week in Sacramento. A superstar advocate for the mentally ill and homeless, Wakefield was hired in 2009 to help keep homeless inmates from falling back into street life after they are released from jail. She helps her clients find and keep housing and connects them with recovery and treatment programs. Before that, Wakefield was a family advocate for the county’s Mental Health Association, she served on the county’s Advisory Board on Drug and Alcohol Problems, and was a member of the Criminal Justice Task Force and Restorative Policing Task Group.


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