CCT's Center for Women

A Message from A Summer Intern

One of our summer interns, Kate Capitano, wrote the following:

An official goodbye to one of the most special places in my life: the days were never easy and the love was tough but for that exact reason I can say this summer I finally felt what it means to make the conscious decision to give unconditional love. I’ve realized that compassion becomes so much easier when the human in us recognizes the human in someone else. This summer, I’ve learned how to brew a pot of coffee, why raspberries are hollow, and that you can fit way more Mountain Dews in a locker than you would think. I’ve also learned that to give love costs nothing and it doesn’t run out no matter how many people you let in. Thank you for teaching me that to find your place in the world, look for where the world’s hurt meets your passion and go from there.

Newsletter – July-August 2018

Help Send 300 Children with Incarcerated Parents Back to School In Style This Fall!

Each year CCT hosts a massive back to school event called “Back in Style” for our clients’ children. Most of our clients’ families are living at or below the poverty line, in large part due to the impact of incarceration on the family’s finances.

With school supplies costing an average of $250 per child, or families struggle to ensure their children are prepared for the new year.

At Back in Style, kids get the shool supplies they need, a free back to school haircut or hair style, AND a free meal. This event relies 100% on the generous donations of people like you.

Will you give today and help us make sure these children have what they need to start the school year off right?

CCT News

Alsco’s Lynne Hopkins shares why her company prefers to hire employees from CCT’s LifeWorks. The training and work ethic we instill in our clients leads to life-changing opportunities.

Elevation’s Love Week Prepares Clients For Interviews


For a week in July, members of Elevation Church treated CCT clients to dinners and one-on-one mock interviews. We are so thankful for our dedicated volunteers and community organizations who support our clients.

CCT Team Participates In Re-entry Simulation

We had a great turnout at the CJS Re-entry Simulation today. The frustrations and challenges our clients experience are real. During the simulation, CCT oard members and employees of the criminal justice system got a glimpse of what happens in our clients’ world. Some participants preferred ‘jail’ over trying to make it, others ‘stole’ and a few created a Black market. We are so proud of our clients who fight everyday to rebuild their lives despite systems designed to break them.

BBB Re-certifies CCT!

We are thrilled to announce that we received top marks from the BBB’s 20 standards for Charitable Accountability. Read the full report here.

 

Iris Thomas Releases from The Center for Women

“I can’t even explain it in words!” Iris exclaims as she starts her release interview with me. “Everything I’ve been hustling for my whole adult life has come to be in the last 6 months”. It is August 8th, 2018, and Iris Thomas who will be 69 years young next week, is leaving prison by way of CCT’s Center for Women. She’s been in and out of prison since she was 23 years old; this last time since 2011. She says this time is different, this time she will not be going back. “I came in with a different mindset. I said to myself ‘I’m definitely not coming out the same way I go in’. I just purged myself of all of that.” <Read More>

 


At CCT we rely on generous donors like you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in June and July.

Foundations
June
Bank of America
Howard Levine Foundation
Mecklenburg  ABC Board
The Leon Levine Foundation
United Way of Central Carolinas
July
United Way of Central Carolinas
Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation

Faith Community
June
Arlington Baptist Church
St. Luke’s Catholic Church
July
Arlington Baptist Church
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Myers Park Baptist Church

Individuals
June
Mike and Leslie McNamara
Blaine and Anne Sanders
Jonathan R. Eide
Angela Forde
Smoky and Margaret Bissell
Anonymous
Janine Lafferty
Alexandra Joachim Scoggin
Richard Scott Fox

July
Cindy Gibson
Sallie Fitton
Janine Lafferty
Michael Alexander
Jeanne Rorie Ross
Kenneth and Jane Schorr
Matthew Martell
Deborah R. Bell

In Kind support
June
Mike Newell
Rountree Plantation
Beth Bennett-Hill
Katina Wallace

 

Volunteer Opportunities

For a full list of volunteer opportunities visit our Volunteer Page.

LifeWorks!

If interested contact Erik Ortega at eortega@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Mock Interviews: Every Other Monday10:45 AM & Thursday 10:45 AM (Schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist staff with conducting mock job interviews with clients participating in our employment readiness classes. Questions and evaluation tool will be provided and individual feedback from the experience is welcomed.

 

Events

Benefit Tea for the Center for Women Education Fund

September 30 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Center for Women – 5825 Old Concord Rd. Charlotte, NC
Free – But be prepared to make a donation!
Please RSVP to communications@centerforcommunitytransitions.org or 704-389-0319

Each year, some incarcerated women living at the Center for Women choose to advance their education and CCT strives to cover the costs of classes, books, and materials. Join us for tea and sweets and hear from Center for Women alumnae about their educational experiences.

Find out more »


Employer Appreciation Breakfast

January 29, 2019 @ 7:30 am
Location TBD
Charlotte, NC 28206 United States + Google Map
Free

Employment is one of the most important elements in successful reentry, and our clients could not find gainful employment without employers who are aware of the benefits of hiring people with criminal records and willing to do so. With this event, we say “thank you” to those employers, and welcome new employers interested in learning about hiring people with criminal records.

Find out more »

Iris Thomas’ Release Story

“I can’t even explain it in words!” Iris exclaims as she starts her release interview with me. “Everything I’ve been hustling for my whole adult life has come to be in the last 6 months”. It is August 8th, 2018, and Iris Thomas who will be 69 years young next week, is leaving prison by way of CCT’s Center for Women. She’s been in and out of prison since she was 23 years old; this last time since 2011. She says this time is different, this time she will not be going back. “I came in with a different mindset. I said to myself ‘I’m definitely not coming out the same way I go in’. I just purged myself of all of that.”

In 2011 as she awaited her sentencing hearing, Iris says she thought about running. Now in her 60s, she didn’t know if she could survive prison again. But she says her son encouraged her to go in, do her time, and come back out clean; so she showed up in court and went back behind bars.

Iris’ revolving door in and out of the prison system began with a charge she picked up while in a domestic violence situation. Addiction fueled her poor decisions from then on, and all told she served 5 different prison sentences over the years. This time, Iris was transferred to CCT’s Center for Women for the last part of her sentence, and she says that her time here, along with a different mindset, has made all the difference.

When she first arrived at CCT, Iris completed our LifeWorks! Program, a job readiness and life skills program we offer free of charge to anyone with a criminal record. “LifeWorks! Was very much needed and helped me get through it. I was very nervous to be job searching in my 60s but I did it”. Iris found a job as a housekeeper. “It required some humbling at first. I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology, but I needed to do it”. Iris quickly became extremely valued at work; so valued that when she announced she’d be moving away from the Charlotte area after her release, her work happily gave her a transfer to her new location, threw her a going away party, and named their kitchen after her.

Iris says that a big part of her success this time around was learning new coping skills. Not only did she learn from the staff at the Center for Women and LifeWorks!, but she also participated in CCT’s substance abuse and trauma program, Seeking Safety, funded by the ABC Board of Mecklenburg County. Iris says she’s experienced a lot of trauma, and being in Seeking Safety gave her a space to process it. “Seeking Safety helped me open up and talk about it, which let me… I like the word purge… let me purge and cleanse myself and get through it. I always stayed after group to talk to Cathy… I especially needed more coping skills for conflict management, and she really helped me with that too”.

Today as Iris is waiting for her family to come pick her up from our facility, she’s beaming with joy. She repeatedly gives glory and honor to God, quoting scripture, making it apparent she’s a woman of strong faith. “Yes,” she says, “By the grace of God I came to this program and I am going home.” She tells me she’s going home to a rental property, family, her own car, and with some modest savings along with her job. “What does the future hold for you?” I ask, and she tells me she wants to eventually start her own catering business. “Why are you choosing to share your story publicly?” I ask, curious, and she says simply, “I want people to look at me and see this program works.” She then goes on to tell me that she hopes to come back to visit CCT around the holidays and cook a meal for the women who are still incarcerated here. “If there’s one thing I want the ladies to know it’s don’t feel hopeless. I hope they keep an open mind. Keep your ears open, and be willing to submit and take people’s advice. It took me a long time to learn to do that!”

 

CCT Program Reports Released

Each year, CCT compiles an Annual Report to provide an overview of our finances and accomplishments to our stakeholders. In Fiscal Year 2017, CCT released more detailed individual program reports. You can read them below.

  

United Way, Awards And New Faces (June 2018)

May was crazy! First there was the great turnout for Spring Fling 2018, and the Women’s Impact Fund awarded Families Doing Time the Human Services Grant.  On June 7, the United Way Board voted to support CCT with $172,250 funding for FY19.  These are important investments in our organization, and will help us improve the economic mobility opportunities of our clients and families. 

Former Resident Graduates

Congratulations to former resident Ludenia!!! She graduated from Gardner Webb with a bachelor’s degree in May. Ludenia worked on the degree while she was with us, and had funding from the CCT Education Fund and the Sunshine Ladies Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

We Love The Boy Scouts

Thank you BSA Troop 99, Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church for helping us assemble dressers. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization.

Junior League Honors Center for Community Transitions

We are so thankful for the Junior League of Charlotte for their partnership and commitment to our clients. We are honored to be Community Partner of the Year.

Meet Our Interns 

Corrina Bost (L) 
I am in my fourth year at Appalachian State University. After this summer, I’ll have my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Anthropology.

I am an aunt to three nephews and a sister to two brothers, three sisters, two brothers-in-law, and a sister-in-law. I enjoy cooking, reading, running, and watching any episode of ‘The Office’ or ‘The Walking Dead.’

My favorite movie is ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ I enjoy doing hair, nails, and most things cosmetology-related!

Kate Jennings (R)

I just finished my first year at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Global Health with a concentration in Latin American studies. I am pre-med and hope to one day combine public heath and medicine.
I enjoy running, reading, politics, and writing. I found the internship through Covenant Church’s People in Mission program and will be surrounded this summer by them, my mom, dad, stepmom, and brother.
I look forward to meeting 30 new faces and seeing where this summer leads!


At CCT we rely on generous donors like you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated this Spring.

Anonymous

Deborah R. Bell

Myra Clark

Linda H. Coble

Ebony H. Covington

David L. Drum

Jeffrey S. Eason

Mary Folley

Ronisha H. Harris

Atakaya H. Johnson

Yvonne Jones

Wendy W. Kauffman

Thomas P. Long

Matthew Martell

James Quage

Marcus Reddrick

Arturowe P. Robinson

Harriett Steele-Campbell

Crystal Turner

Lauretta S. Wilson

James E. Wright

Organizations

Arlington Baptist Church

Charlotte Friends Meeting

Mecklenburg County ABC Board

NODA Brewing Company

Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church

United Way of Central Carolinas

Women’s Impact Fund

Many thanks to everyone who tagged us in Amazon Smile and for the volunteer team from Ekos Brewmaster did yard work at the Center for Women.



Opportunities to Give

Our Back In Style event is August 23rd and we want to make sure our children prepared. Please work with members of your community and faith-based organizations to collect school supplies for children we serve.  We need backpacks, spiral notebooks, composition and loose leaf notebooks, loose leaf paper, pencils, glue sticks, pencil boxes or zipper bags.

Contact Charis Blackmon for more details. cblackmon@centerforcommuitytransitions.org 

 

 

 

 

Good Times At Spring Fling 2018

Thank you to everyone who made SpringFling 2018 a success! We enjoyed fun, food, fellowship and caught up with former clients. It was a great night. Special thanks to saxophonist LaShan “Shableek” Richardson, My Camille’s Cafe and Catering and BoogyTyme Rentals.

Congratulations to all over our Spring 2018 award recipients:

LifeWorks! Volunteer of the Year – Jeff Nemechek

Employer of the Year –  Alsco

Families Doing Time Volunteer of the Year – Junior League of Charlotte

Faith Community of the Year – New Waves of Joy

Center for Women Volunteer of the Year – Vanessa and Trent Knight

 

 

 

 

Newsletter – May 2018

8th Annual Spring Fling 2018

Mark your calendars! Spring Fling is May 10. FREE, but please RSVP: Communications@centerforcommunitytransitions.org. See other upcoming events on our Events Calendar.

CCT Client Makes National Honor Society

When Evelyn completed The Center for Community Transitions last year, she thought she could easily live on her own.

It wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be, but CCT gave Evelyn the tools she needed to keep moving forward. Instead of trying to navigate roadblocks alone, Evelyn tapped her network of faith, family and friends. They kept her on track. This spring, Evelyn was inducted into the National Honor Society at Central Piedmont Community College. It’s a milestone in her journey.

“The hardwork pays off,” said Evelyn, 46. “Everybody needs someone to help them. Reaching out, utilizing your resources, it makes it easier.”

Evelyn plans to graduate from CPCC in Spring 2019. It’s the first step in her goal of pursuing a career working with women coming out of prison.

It’s a story she knows well. She was accepted into CCT in August 2015.  She took advantage of CCT’s opportunities such as returning to college, attending church and seeking counseling. She worked through childhood issues that plagued her into adulthood. Evelyn makes it look easy, but it’s not. She’s a mother of four, including two minor-aged children, works two full-time jobs all while attending college.

To stay balanced she is committed to monthly check-ins with CCT staff members and she also works with Changed Choices. She tells her professors about her past, her challenges and her determination.

“When you’re honest,” she says, “people are willing to actually go the extra mile to help you accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish.”

VolunBEERing at NoDa Brewing

Dozens of volunteers stopped by CCT’s table at NoDa Brewing on Saturday, April 21st  for a special National Volunteer Week event. CCT was one of several local non-profits to participate in VolunBEERing sponsored by Share Charlotte. Staffers Erik Ortega and Jesse Schwab guided volunteers to create graduation packets for our CCT clients as a “table-top” volunteer activity.

 

Celebrating Our First Ever “Friend-Raiser”

CCT’s Friend-Raiser drew nearly 100 people and helped Center for Community Transitions raise nearly $2,000. Our staff, donors and board members had a wonderful opportunity to share the CCT story with members of the community. Thanks to everyone who attended.


At CCT we rely on generous donors like you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the month of March.

Anna Calhoun
Audra Mitchell Atkinson
Betty G. Harkey
Betty Hong
Deborah Nemecek
Dorothy Cole
Helene Hilger
Hope L. Marshall
Janine Lafferty
John A Tate III
Julie Tuggle
Marie Morrison
Myra M. Clark
Pamela Nemecek
Patrice Funderburg
Priscilla G. Laula
Rachel Nemecek
Ted Cabot
Tina Marshall
Tony Orsbon
Willie Wachowiak

Sponsors

Covenant Presbyterian Church
Elevation Church
First Presbyterian Church
Roundtree Plantation
St. Luke’s Catholic Church
Sugar Creek Charter School
United Way of Central Carolinas

Volunteer Opportunities

For a full list of volunteer opportunities visit our Volunteer Page.
LifeWorks!

If interested contact Erik Ortega at eortega@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Mock Interviews: Every Other Monday@ 10:45 AM & Thursday 10:45 AM (Schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist staff with conducting mock job interviews with clients participating in our employment readiness classes. Questions and evaluation tool will be provided and individual feedback from the experience is welcomed.

Newsletter – March 2018

CCT News

We hope you’ll join us at our first ever “Friend-Raiser” March 22nd

Join us March 22nd from 5-7pm for an upscale casual “Friend-Raiser” at Advent Coworking Space and enjoy appetizers, beer and wine, and great company while helping CCT.

The purpose of this friend-raiser is to garner community support and raise awareness about the needs of people reentering the Charlotte community from jail or prison, and the needs of Charlotte children experiencing parental incarceration.

This evening will feature a special guest performance by Playing For Others teens of their spoken word piece, “Build People, Not Prisons” and the premier of CCT’s newest video, developed by Basic Cable. You’ll also enjoy live music, appetizers from Ink N Ivy, beer and wine.

Tickets are $25.Tickets include admission, appetizers, desserts, and drinks. We encourage you not only to attend, but bring a friend or two that you can introduce to CCT.

All proceeds from the event will benefit CCT’s three core programs serving Charlotteans impacted by incarceration.

Join us to mingle, learn, and build people, not prisons.

MARCH 22, 2018 @ 5:00PM — 7:00PM

Purchase your tickets here.
This Event Is Proudly Sponsored By:

Carolina Industrial Trucks

Freedom Mobility Center

SUM Bucha

CCT Honored with Song and Video at HeARTbeat

Last week, Playing For Others put on their largest performance of the year at McGlohon Theater in Sprit Square and honored CCT in the process. Playing for others is an arts-based organization that works with youth in Charlotte. Each year they choose 10 nonprofits to honor with art and performance pieces during the HeARTbeat event. This year, CCT was one of the 10 nonprofit honorees. A video was created and a song was written and performed in our honor and closed out the show. We are extremely touched by the efforts the teens put into our pieces and the tremendous reaction from the audience! We were able to bring about 30 clients and staff including some of our Families Doing Time youth who may one day participate in Playing for Others themselves! It was a wonderful experience.

A New Partnership with No Grease Barbershop

We are excited to announce a new partnership formed with No Grease Barbershop. No Grease will now offer free haircuts to our clients to help prepare them for job interviews! Clients will be given special vouchers for the free cuts and No Grease’s two Charlotte-area barber schools. Any clients in need of a free haircut may contact LifeWorks! for vouchers and instructions!

VolunBEERing at NoDa Brewing

Taste while you volunteer! CCT and other nonprofits will be at NoDa Brewing on Saturday, April 21st from 12pm-3pm for a special National Volunteer Week event. Come on out and taste a variety of brews while lending a hand at “table-top” volunteer projects! Fun for kids, friends and families! Learn more and check out other upcoming CCT events including “You Drink, NoDa Brewing Donates” and Spring Fling on our Events Calendar.

 

At CCT we rely on generous donors like you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the month of February.
Audra Atkinson
Ted Cabot
Myra Clark
Betty Hong
Janine Lafferty
Dumont and Shirley Linn
Thomas and Cynthia Marshall
Matthew Martell
Wendy Mills
Marie Morrison
Deborah Nemecek
Pamela Nemecek
Mary Stokes
Sponsors
Arlington Baptist Church
Carolina Industrial Trucks
Charlotte Woman’s Club
Christ Church Charlotte ECW
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
Mercedes-Benz of South Charlotte
St. Gabriel Catholic Church
Sum Bucha LLC
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Valley of the Sun United Way
Veeva Systems
Warehouse 242

Opportunities to Give

The AmazonSmile triple donation promotion starts today!

If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can easily set up your account to donate a portion of your purchases to CCT. AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to CCT.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

3x your impact! Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first smile.amazon.com purchase – NOW through March 31! Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/51-0185383 and Amazon donates to Center for Community Transitions!

Volunteer Opportunities

For a full list of volunteer opportunities visit our Volunteer Page.
LifeWorks!

If interested contact Erik Ortega at eortega@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Mock Interviews: Every Other Monday@ 10:45 AM & Thursday 10:45 AM (Schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist staff with conducting mock job interviews with clients participating in our employment readiness classes. Questions and evaluation tool will be provided and individual feedback from the experience is welcomed.

 

Events

 Build People, Not Prisons

March 22 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
$25

The purpose of this friend-raiser is to garner community support and raise awareness about the needs of people reentering the Charlotte community from jail or prison, and the needs of Charlotte children experiencing parental incarceration. This evening will feature a special guest performance by Playing For Others teens of their spoken word piece, “Build People, Not Prisons” and the premier of CCT’s newest video, developed by Basic Cable. You’ll also enjoy live music, appetizers from Ink N Ivy, beer and wine. Early bird tickets may be…

Find out more »


VolunBEERing at NoDa Brewing

April 21 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
NoDa Brewing, 2921 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28206 United States + Google Map
Free

SHARE Charlotte is concluding DO GOOD Week (National Volunteer Week) with a volunteering event at NoDa Brewing, and CCT is one of the participating nonprofits! The event will be Saturday, April 21 from 12-3pm. Stop by and enjoy some sips from one of Charlotte’s best breweries while shuffling around to the various nonprofit booths, including CCT, for hands-on, table top activities. Fun for kids, friends and families! More information with a link to the event is coming soon. Stay tuned…

Find out more »


You Drink, NoDa Brewing Donates

April 23 @ 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NoDa Brewing, 2921 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28206 United States + Google Map
Free

April is National Second Chance Month! Second Chance Month is a time to recognize the reality people released from jails and prisons face when they try to reenter our communities: difficulty finding housing, work, transportation, and more. This April we have a fun way you can help! Come on out to NoDa Brewing on April 23rd from 4pm-9pm and order a draft beer. For every draft beer sold, NoDa Brewing will donate $1 to CCT! CCT is a nonprofit in…

Find out more »


SAVE THE DATE – SPRING FLING 2018

May 10 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
TBD
FREE

Save the Date and join us for our 6th annual volunteer appreciation event – Spring Fling 2018! Check back for more details!

Find out more »

 

A New Partnership with No Grease Barbershop

We are excited to announce a new partnership formed with No Grease Barbershop. No Grease will now offer free haircuts to our clients to help prepare them for job interviews! Clients will be given special vouchers for the free cuts at No Grease’s two Charlotte-area barber schools. Any clients in need of a free haircut may contact LifeWorks! for vouchers and instructions!