Category Archives: CCT News

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#DoGoodWeek in Charlotte and CCT

It’s #DoGoodWeek in Charlotte – a week of honoring AND recruiting volunteers! CCT Executive Director, Myra Clark, and CCT Volunteer, Joanna Patcha, appeared on FOX 46’s “Good Day” show to talk about our work and some volunteer opportunities.

Our current volunteer opportunities are listed on our ShareCharlotte Page. 

Table displays for The Second Chance Alliance

April is Second Chance Month

All month CCT has been celebrating Second Chance Month as an informal month declared by a peer organization, Prison Fellowship, but today, it became official. The U.S. Senate Declared April Second Chance Month nationwide.

It’s fitting then that we also visited our state legislators today as part of a coalition of reentry organizations across NC called the Second Chance Alliance. On behalf of our clients, we lobbied for several pieces of legislation that make sense for reentry and are smart on crime. Download the attached to see a full list of legislation we’re supporting, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter for legislative updates.

SCA, action request, 2017 (1)

Two women water a newly made garden bed.

New Garden at the Center for Women

Last week volunteer extraordinaire, Pam Eavenson, assisted residents of the Center for Women with starting a vegetable and herb garden. The garden is on the grounds of our main facility and we look forward to watching it grow alongside our residents. Make sure you check it out next time you visit.

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NC Aims to Reduce Use of Solitary Confinement

NC has reduced its use of solitary confinement by more than 50% since 2012 but still has a long way to go according to a recently released Vera Institute report. Currently, incarcerated individuals may find themselves in solitary confinement (also known as segregation units) for minor infractions such as swearing. At some state facilities the average time spent in solitary is nearly five years. The Vera Institute also found racial disparities in the use of solitary. The state faces major staff shortages making it difficult to provide alternatives to segregation. The report also pointed out that many people are being released from years in solitary confinement directly back into the community, making their transition all the more difficult. The institute recommends moving people out of solitary Confinement and into reentry units. CCT is glad the state leadership is committed to continuing to take steps to reduce the use of solitary confinment and to put more resources toward reentry housing units. To learn more, read the article in the Charlotte Observer.

Charlotte Opportunity Task Force

The Charlotte Opportunity Task Force, a group of 20 community members who spent 18 months studying intergenerational povery in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, released its report at the end of March. Charlotte-Mecklenburg was ranked 50th out of 50 in an economic mobility study conducted on America’s largest cities in 2013, and the task force aimed to discover the causes of constrained mobility and propose solutions. The Task Force included the collateral consequences of incarceration in the report. Incarceration effects family strength and stability, income, savings, education, and housing. As the city moves forward in trying to address the concerns raised in the report, CCT expects to see reentry assistance and policy advocacy opportunities related to mitigating the effects of incarceration on families and individuals. You can read the full report at  https://leadingonopportunity.org/

New Offering: Business Bootcamp

In partnership with Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont and Carolinas Institute for Entrepreneurship, CCT launched a new four-week course called Business Bootcamp. It is a four-week course on business basics for people thinking about starting their own business. To our delight, several of the students are interested in starting their own nonprofit organizations! We are in talks about offering the course again in the future.

LifeWorks! Director, Erik Ortega, conducts day long workshop in Gastonia.

LifeWorks! in Gastonia

CCT LifeWorks! has been working with Goodwill Southern Piedmont and Gaston County to bring some of their programming to reentry clients in Gastonia. In February, they conducted a day long workshop with federal inmates at the Gaston County Jail. The program was well-received, and talks are ongoing to bring more services to the area.

Home for the Holidays

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Imagine the Joy of a Child whose parent is home for the holidays for the first time in years. For some of our clients this is a reality, for others that moment is a distant thought.

This year we ask that you give our clients a piece of

“Home for the Holidays”

Here at CCT we are committed to creating pathways and opportunities that allow persons to experience positive, self-motivated change.  Your gift supports our work in helping children cope, families reunite, and the restoration of broken relationships.  Women and men that have been served by CCT:

  • Found and maintained employment with living wages
  • Developed social supports
  • Became more resilient
  • Discovered a new perspective for healthy living
  • Returned to their families as positive contributing members
  • Connected to helpful community resources

Being home for the holidays is a privilege that for most of us brings joy and excitement. For many of our clients this time of year is coupled with grief, sadness, and feelings of isolation. The memories of laughter, joy and celebration are tainted by the harsh reality of brokenness, hurt and lost time.  

Your generosity directly helps our clients create a future in which they will know joy and fulfillment. Your contribution will bring happiness and cheer to families impacted by incarceration who would otherwise have very little to look forward to.

Consider the incredible story of CCT client, Ms. Mock. After completion of our program and with the help of others in the community, such as yourself, she was not only able to move into her own fully furnished home, but this year, after years of spending Christmas yearning and dreaming to see the smile on her children’s faces, she will be spending Christmas with her children right by her side. This year she will begin to create a new joyous family narrative.

So please, help us as we work to help another person’s thought become a reality and find it in your heart to make a donation to The Center for Community Transitions by Friday, December 16th.

Your gift will brighten this Holiday Season for clients and families in need of hope.

Contributions at the given amounts will:

      $25 purchase one copy of the Working Smart curriculum

      $75 purchase work clothes and shoes for one ready-to-work client

      $100 provide two incoming clients at the Women’s Facility “New Start Packs”

      $250 provide food at one Third Tuesday family support and fellowship event

Together, we can give our families “a piece of home for the holidays.”

DONATE NOW

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Women’s Education and Reentry

Woman speaks to listeners gathered at the Women's Education Fund Tea Event

An Education Fund Participant speaks at the annual Education Fund Tea at Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe

Education is a key element to a successful life after incarceration. Women with specialized training or a college education are more likely to find employment, provide for their families, and remain out of prison. The Women’s Education Fund was established in 2012 to provide the residents at the Center for Women the opportunity to pursue an education as they complete their prison sentences. In September, CCT held it’s 2nd Annual Education Tea fundraiser to support the fund. Enough funds were raised to send 5 women to class at CPCC.

To date, 31 students have participated in the Women’s Education fund since 2012. To remain in the program, students must maintain a C average or better. Multiple students have been inducted into honor societies and one participant has gone on to obtain a Master’s Degree.

Education has allowed me the opportunities to overcome many obstacles, some that have either ben imposed on me by my own actions or those of others. It has allowed me to spread my wings and soar and know that I can achieve my dreams and my goals. I am more than just my past record; I have the ability to affect change in myself and in others.” –E. H., Education Fund Participant

This year, we would like to thank all donors who gave to the fund; our wonderful hosts, Mimi Beal, Sonja Johnson, Brenda Peake, and Bonnie Tangalos; and Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe for their generosity and support.