November 2017 Newsletter

Rally for Reentry

November 3rd was the National Day of Reentry Nonprofits and Charlotte’s Reentry Day. The Reentry Partners of Mecklenburg (RPM), of which CCT is a member, organized a special march and rally for reentry that evening.

The rally highlighted urgent needs in the reentry community in Charlotte: jobs with a living wage and housing. As you know, many people with a criminal record have difficulty finding work due in part to the stigma their record carries and a lack of employers willing to hire them. Finding a job with a living wage in Charlotte is even more difficult. What you may not know is how difficult it is to find housing in Charlotte. Not only does the individual need to prove they have an income, they also often must pass a background check. Very few landlords will rent to people with a criminal record. At CCT, we often have clients who will disclose their record right up front to a landlord, the landlord will encourage them to still apply (and take their application fee), and then reject them for having a criminal record. This rally sought to shed light on these issues and more, and bring the people working on them together.

The rally began in front of Jail Central and marched to Marshall Park where speakers shared their stories of challenges and successes in reentry. Participants carried signs reading “Believe in Second Chances” and chanted “What do we want? A second Chance! When do we want it? Now!”. News media was in attendance, and you can watch the story here.

CCT was proud to have a fantastic turnout of our representatives including board members, volunteers, donors, and staff. We hope the rally will become a tradition by continuing next year.

We streamed the rally on Facebook Live and you can watch it here.

Left: Board member and Center for Women volunteer with her husband Jeff, who also volunteers with CCT. Top Right: CCT LifeWorks! Director, Erik Ortega, poses with Pat Cotham, County Commissioner at Large and CCT and reentry champion. Bottom Right: Participants greet each other and begin assembling for the march.


A Release Story

About once or twice a month our Center for Women gets to experience the joy of seeing one of our residents get released. As some of you may know, the women who reside at the Center for Women are still incarcerated and are serving out the last years of their prison sentence in our residential reentry facility. Seeing their sentences end and the excitement of release is always a happy day for us.

Recently, one resident, whose name and photo we are withholding for privacy reasons, had an especially happy release day. She had not seen her son for years and he showed up for her release. The reunion was incredibly emotional. On top of that, this resident had been 100% involved in her reentry process since coming to CCT. She found full time employment and had managed to save over $10,000 while getting her other finances in order. She also knew she needed to get her health under control and was able to lose 40lbs and go off of some of her chronic medication. She is off to a bright start in her new life and we look forward to hearing from her in the future.


What our Clients are Saying

Every now and then we like to share with you some quotes from our clients about their time with CCT, and today we have a very “sweet” one for you from one of our LifeWorks! class evaluations:

“General Comments: CCT should buy donuts more often (LOL) Seriously you guys are so genuinely helpful and have made this a great experience.

Recommendations: Feed your clients more often (LOL) nah keep up the good work.”


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 October.

Audra Atkinson
Myra Clark
Paul and Linda Ibsen
Janine Lafferty
Kenneth and Jane Schorr
Katherine Southerland
John A. Tate

Sponsors
Arlington Baptist Church
Elevation Church
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
Rountree Plantation
Sally Jordan Family Fund
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
The Sunshine Lady Foundation
TK2 Ministries
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Valley of the Sun United Way


Opportunities to Give

Our Families Doing Time program is putting together “Caregiver Christmas Baskets” for 30-60 families. As you know, many of the families in the program struggle with making ends meet. These baskets will help lift some of that burden. Supplies needed are:

  • laundry detergent
  • household supplies (i.e toilet tissue, paper towels etc.)
  • new fleece blankets
  • candles
  • coffee mugs
  • novelty Christmas treats
  • $20 Walmart gift cards

Donations can be dropped off at the facility on Old Concord Rd. 24/7. Please check in with the PA if you come outside of regular business hours. Please let the PA know the donations are for the “Families Doing Time program”

5825 Old Concord Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28213

If you have any questions please contact FDT Director, Charis Blackmon, at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

As always, you can make a monetary donation securely online. Just click the button below.

Donate Button



Volunteer Opportunities

The Center for Women

If interested contact Nyeshia Carpenter at volunteers@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Community Volunteer Sponsors are needed to be trained to transport the women residents into the community for excursions to church and various other activities like shopping and entertainment, substance abuse meetings, etc. Due to state regulations, volunteers must be female.

Skill building volunteers are needed to assist the women with school tutoring, computer training, resume writing, cover letter writing, etc.

Third Tuesdays – Families Doing Time

If interested, contact Families Doing Time Program Manager, Charis Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org.

Toys for Tots volunteers are needed to sort and prepare toys for our client families. Additionally, we will need volunteers to assist on the day of distribution.

Caregiver Christmas Baskets: We will need volunteers to assist with stuffing, wrapping, and delivering Christmas baskets to families during the holiday season.

Empowering Kids with Incarcerated Parents (EKWIP): We will need assistance printing and binding EKWIP workbooks for these school-based support groups. Additionally, volunteers that are consistently available during school hours on weekdays are needed to serve as group assistants during EKWIP groups. A background check would be required for all potential group assistant volunteers.

Data Entry: As we shift to a new data system, we will need volunteers to help with data entry.

Chaperones are needed to assist with our quarterly cultural excursions (Enrichment Institute) to be held in November, February, and April.

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.

Resume Development: Every other Wednesday @ 10:45 AM (schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist clients participating in the employment readiness program with the development/revision of their resume.

FRESH START Goal Setting: Schedule open but will need to be consistent – Assist clients with their goal setting and stability tracker – training will be provided.


Events

Connecting Charlotte, Friday, November 17, 7PM

Warehouse 242
2307 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208
https://playingforothers.org/event/1718-connecting-charlotte/
On November 17th, the organization, Playing for Others, celebrates the amazing work being done in Charlotte’s non-profit community by shining the light on other non-profit organizations that are making a significant local impact.

Join us for an inspiring evening, including…

Original spoken word poetry written in honor of our 2017-2018 Non-Profit Honorees
Micro-grants for 12 non-profits, presented by PFO teens
Unique art installation, created by PFO teens in collaboration with artists from UMAR
Let’s gather together to honor the great work being done in our community. Get your tickets today!

SPECIAL OFFER:
Buy 5 or more tickets, receive $2 discount per ticket!

2017-2018 Non-Profit Honorees:
Camp Dogwood
The Center for Community Transitions!!!!!!!
Code for Charlotte
Girls Pursuing Science
HopeWay
Right Moves for Youth
Sustain Charlotte
Teal Diva
The Third Place
Wings Scholarship Program

Giving Tuesday , November 28th

You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday – well now there’s Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving back. You can give to CCT through volunteering or your financial support.

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