Newsletter – February 2018

 

CCT Executive Director Participates in City-Wide Panel on Mass Incarceration

On February 6th, CCT Executive Director, Myra Clark, participated in a panel at a city-wide event about mass incarceration. The event, “Rethinking Incarceration” was hosted by Warehouse 242 and featured a new book by the same name, authored by Dominique DuBois Gilliard. Mr. Gilliard was the keynote speaker and also served on the panel. The other panel members were Toussaint Romain, Ramona Brandt, and Councilman Braxton Winston. <Continue Reading>
The event was a wonderful start to a much needed ongoing conversation in Charlotte. Creative Loafing did a lengthy story that is worth a read if you would like to learn more:

Imagine being sentenced to four years in prison just for stealing clamps.

It’s a case that will stick with Toussaint Romain for years to come, and has only gone to further his belief that, as he told me during a recent chat, “There is no justice in the criminal justice system.”

<Read the full article here>


Charlotte Junior League HostsDonation Drive Benefiting CCT

On February 3rd, the Junior League of Charlotte hosted a wonderful donation drive benefiting our Families Doing Time children and families. The drive brought in a ton of hats, gloves, scarves, and snugly stuffed animals to keep children with incarcerated parents warm during this unusually cold winter. As you know, most of the children and families we serve are living in or near poverty income levels. Most need assistance with obtaining items for basic needs, like warm winter clothing. We are so grateful to the Junior League for their tremendous effort in putting on this successful event!


CCT Client Profiled in Charlotte Five

Online news and culture publication, Charlotte Five, did a profile of LifeWorks! client, Tyrone Miller. In the piece, Tyrone shares his outlook on life after prison and his journey to try to find employment. <Read On>

Photo by Katie Toussaint


CCT Honored by Playing for Others

CCT is one of ten nonprofits being honored by the Playing for Others (PFO) class of ’17-18 this year. PFO is an organization in Charlotte that provides a space for teens to explore and answer the questions, “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?” through programming in Personal Development, Service, and the Arts. Each year they choose ten local nonprofits for their teen artists to honor through spoken-word, video, music, dance, and more. On March 2nd, PFO will hold a huge culminating event called HeARTBeat at McGlohan Theater. <Keep Reading>


Join us for a one-of-a-kind event honoring 10 local nonprofits through music, dance and digital art. Playing for Others teens create and perform original works of art in honor of these incredible organizations and their service to the Charlotte community. Tickets Available Here.


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 January.


Opportunities to Give

Support CCT While
You Shop!

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 thatwhen you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to CCT. Start supporting CCT today!


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

February 17 – JustLeadership USA’s Emerging Leaders Training

By Application Only
JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. On Saturday, February 17, JLUSA brings its Emerging Leaders program right here to Charlotte! <Learn More>

March 2 – HeARTbeat – Honoring Nonprofits through the Arts

8pm-10pm, McGlohan Theater
This year CCT is SO EXCITED to be one of 10 nonprofit honorees at the annual Playing for Others HeARTbeat event! Join us for a one-of-a-kind event honoring 10 local nonprofits through music, dance and digital art. <Learn More>

March 8 – Applause for a Cause

6pm – 8pm, Sugar Creek Charter School
Sugar Creek Charter School will be hosting a student led open-mic night with all proceeds coming to the Families Doing Time program. The event will surround children of incarcerated parents and will highlight Families Doing Time’s work within the community. Ticket info to come.

March 14 – Professionals Who Happen to Have a Criminal Record – New Group Interest Meeting

Are you a Charlotte area professional who happens to have a criminal record? Are you interested in giving back to the community by helping others who have a record? CCT is holding an interest meeting on March 14th to discuss possibilities for forming a new group just for you. <Learn More>

March 22 – Build People, Not Prisons

5pm – 7pm, Advent Coworking

CCT is hosting its first ever Build People, Not Prisons evening event. The event will feature a live performance by Playing for Others teens, Hors d’oeuvres, and beer and wine. More details and tickets available here.

May 10 – Spring Fling

SAVE THE DATE for CCT’s 6th Annual Spring Fling. Details to come.

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CCT Client Profiled in Charlotte Five!

Photo by: Katie Toussaint

Online news and culture publication, Charlotte Five, did a profile of LifeWorks! client, Tyrone Miller. In the piece, Tyrone shares his outlook on life after prison and his journey to try to find employment.

Twenty-seven-year-old Tyrone Miller was released from prison just over a month ago. He spent nearly eight years behind bars in a North Carolina correctional facility for assault with a deadly weapon.

He shares this information with no hesitation as he leans back, relaxed, in a desk chair at The Center for Community Transitions (CCT) at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus off of Wilkinson Boulevard. CCT offers Lifeworks! programs to address the personal and professional needs of those with criminal records.

Miller offers an easy, bright smile. His black hair is kept in neat cornrows, almond-colored glasses round out his face and two sparkling studs flash on his ears. He wears a black button-down, charcoal slacks and black shoes.

It’s the perfect interview look.

<Read the full article here>

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CCT Honored by Playing for Others

CCT is one of ten nonprofits being honored by the Playing for Others (PFO) class of ’17-18 this year. PFO is an organization in Charlotte that provides a space for teens to explore and answer the questions, “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?” through programming in Personal Development, Service, and the Arts. Each year they choose ten local nonprofits for their teen artists to honor through spoken-word, video, music, dance, and more. In the fall, the teens performed their spoken word pieces, and the piece done for CCT, “Build People, Not Prisons”, brought the house down! On March 2nd, PFO will hold a huge culminating event called HeART Beat at McGlohan Theater.

Today we met with PFO and the other nonprofit honorees to learn more about the event, and find out what sort of piece the teens will be doing in our honor. We were excited to learn that CCT will be honored with some type of MUSICAL piece!!! We hope you will join us on March 2nd for this truly exciting event. Some of our staff attended last year and the performances were professional level productions and extremely touching.

We’re also excited that some of the PFO teens will be making a special appearance at our first ever “Build People, Not Prisons Friend-Raiser” on March 22nd, where they will do an encore performance of their spoken-word piece from the fall. We hope to see you all there as well!

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CCT Executive Director Participates in City-Wide Panel

Last night CCT Executive Director, Myra Clark, participated in a panel at a city-wide event about mass incarceration. The event, “Rethinking Incarceration” was hosted by Warehouse 242 and featured a new book by the same name, authored by Dominique DuBois Gilliard. Mr. Gilliard was the keynote speaker and also served on the panel. The other panel members were Toussaint Romain, Ramona Brandt, and Councilman Braxton Winston

More than 300 people attended the event and discussed topics ranging from the huge racial disparities in our criminal justice system, to the need for affordable housing and jobs for people with criminal records, to the impact of mass incarceration on children and families.

The event was a wonderful start to a much needed ongoing conversation in Charlotte. Creative Loafing did a lengthy story that is worth a read if you would like to learn more:

Imagine being sentenced to four years in prison just for stealing clamps.

It’s a case that will stick with Toussaint Romain for years to come, and has only gone to further his belief that, as he told me during a recent chat, “There is no justice in the criminal justice system.”

Romain, a public defender in Mecklenburg County who represents repeat offenders and habitual felons, was telling me about a client he represented last year named Charles. He had been caught at Lowe’s shoplifting metal hand clamps. When he was searched, he was found to also be concealing a package of fish he had stolen from BI-LO. Because he was a repeat offender, he was charged with a felony in relation to the shoplifting incident, and because he had previous felonies on his record, he was stamped as a habitual felon and faced 15 years in prison.

When Romain asked Charles why he was stealing when he knew his record meant he could be facing harsh punishment, his answer was heartbreaking.

“He said, ‘Listen, I’ll tell you. I stole the clamps so that when I put a fish on my metal rod, and I put the clamps on my fish, when I turn the rod over my campfire, the fish will cook evenly. Because I’m homeless. I learned how to do this when I was in the military,'” Romain recalled.

<Read the full article here>

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Charlotte Junior League Hosts Donation Drive Benefiting CCT

Yesterday the Junior League of Charlotte hosted a wonderful donation drive benefiting our Families Doing Time children and families. The drive brought in a ton of hats, gloves, scarves, and snugly stuffed animals to keep children with incarcerated parents warm during this unusually cold winter. As you know, most of the children and families we serve are living in or near poverty income levels. Most need assistance with obtaining items for basic needs, like warm winter clothing. We are so grateful to the Junior League for their tremendous effort in putting on this successful event!

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Newsletter – January 2018

CCT News

When All the Presents Burned, CCT Stepped Up

Two days after Thanksgiving, Ms. Perry was cooking dinner for herself and her 11 year old granddaughter, Jo’Asia. Ms. Perry had been Jo’Asia’s guardian since she was a baby and her father, Ms. Perry’s oldest son, had been sent to prison. The day had started like any other day, but in a matter of seconds everything changed. Suddenly, the stove Ms. Perry was cooking on caught fire. The flames spread quickly. One of her other adult sons, ran in to put the fire out. The grease fire was not easy to contain. He yelled for his mother to leave the house with Jo’Asia and call the fire department. He finally managed to extinguish the flames just before the fire department arrived, but by then walls had been destroyed, the stove had melted, and the pantry behind the wall was completely ruined. It was in the ruined pantry that Ms. Perry had been hiding all of her Christmas gifts for her family. They were all destroyed. <Keep Reading>


Warehouse 242 will host an event comprised of live jazz, refreshments, a panel discussion, and a book release surrounding incarceration and its affect on our city. The book sale proceeds will be donated to our Families Doing Time program.The event is free and open to the public.

CCT’s FDT Director, Charis Blackmon, will be participating in the panel discussion and sharing her insight on how this conversation affects Charlotte. <More Details>

 


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 December.

Jordan Abshire
Elizabeth Anderson
Audra Atkinson
Frank and Helen Aycock
LP Bailey
Dianne Bailey
The Barr Family
Marian Beane
Catherine Bessant
Crandall Bowles
Benton Bragg
William and Barbara Branch
Sherry Browning
Laura Budzichowski
Kaky and Garland Cassada
Myra Clark
Alexandra Conway
Judith Cook
Jimmy and Allene Cooley
Morrison Creech
Pam Crown
Elyse Dashew
Barbara De Mase
Carlos Evans
Charles and Jo Ann Fernald
Patricia Flanagan
Mary Folley
Angela Forde
Rosemarie Gancer
Doris Gibson
Kari Giles
Robert and Kristen Henderson
Ann Hester
Sally Higgins
Betty Hong
Christopher Hummer
June Kimmel
Janine Lafferty
Luke Largess
KD and CA Lawler
Sherry Lee
Eva Lee
Catherine Long
Richard and Saundra McGee
Chris McLeod
David Meiers
Lindsay and Mark Merritt
Stephen and Mary Milan
William Mitchell
Mujtaba Mohammed
Lu Morrison
David Nance
Rachel Nemecek
Susan Oleson
R. Anthony Orsbon
James Plyler
Patricia Pye
Amelie Ratliff
Lisa Reynolds
Henry Rock
David Schilli
Gail Seaim
Randolph Smith
Tawnya Stommel
Marjorie Tate
Mary Ellen Theiling
Cynthia Turner
Keva and Juanita Walton
Keith West
John Wester
Velva Woollen
Bright and Robert Wright
Julian and Amy Wright
Joe Young

Sponsors
Arlington Baptist Church
Calvary Christian Church
Covenant Presbyterian Church
Junior League of Charlotte
Mecklenburg County ABC
Milton and Carol Childress
New Waves of Joy
Piedmont District Convention
Saint Luke Catholic Church
Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian
Share Charlotte
St. John’s Baptist Church
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Wells Fargo


Opportunities to Give

Warming Kids Hearts – Saturday, February 3rd

The Junior League of Charlotte is hosting a donation drive for new winter accessories to benefit our Families Doing Time families. They are accepting socks, mittens/gloves, hats, blankets, and small stuffed animals. All items must be new with tags. Contact Jess Dienna at jdienna57@gmail.com with questions.

 


Support CCT While You Shop!

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 thatwhen you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to CCT. Start supporting CCT today!


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.

Families Doing Time

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

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

February 6 – Warehouse Talks: Rethinking Incarceration

7pm-9pm, Warehouse 242
Warehouse 242 will host an event comprised of live jazz, refreshments, a panel discussion, and a book release surrounding incarceration and its affect on our city. The book sale proceeds will be donated to our Families Doing Time program. The event is free and open to the public.

CCT’s Families Doing Time Program Director, Charis Blackmon, will be participating in the panel discussion and sharing her insight on how this conversation affects Charlotte.

February 17 – JustLeadership USA’s Emerging Leaders Training

By Application Only
JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. On Saturday, February 17, JLUSA brings its Emerging Leaders program right here to Charlotte! All Emerging Leaders participants must have prior involvement with the criminal justice system (juvenile and/or criminal justice involvement is required to be eligible and includes but is not limited to: actual incarceration [served time in jail and/or prison], arrest with or without conviction, under community supervision, i.e. parole, sentenced to probation-only, and involvement as a client in the juvenile justice system).

March 8 – Applause for a Cause

6pm – 8pm, Sugar Creek Charter School

Sugar Creek Charter School will be hosting a student led open-mic night with all proceeds coming to the Families Doing Time program. The event will surround children of incarcerated parents and will highlight Families Doing Time’s work within the community.

Ticket info to come.

March 22 – Build People, Not Prisons

5pm – 7pm, Advent Coworking
SAVE THE DATE – CCT is hosting its first ever Build People, Not Prisons evening event. The event will feature a live performance by Playing for Others teens, Hors d’oeuvres, and beer and wine. More details and ticket information to come.

May 10 – Spring Fling

SAVE THE DATE for CCT’s 6th Annual Spring Fling. Details to come.

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FDT Supported 87 Families During the Holidays

Over the holidays, with the help of generous donors and dedicated volunteers, our Families Doing Time (FDT) program supported 191 children in 87 families by providing  toys and necessities through a variety of activities including Toys for Tots, Third Tuesday, and sponsorship. Support ranged from providing toys, to full family Christmas sponsorships that included household necessities, food boxes, and family gifts.
One such sponsored family was the Perry family. Read their story below.


Two days after Thanksgiving, Ms. Perry was cooking dinner for herself and her 11 year old granddaughter, Jo’Asia. Ms. Perry had been Jo’Asia’s guardian since she was a baby and her father, Ms. Perry’s oldest son, had been sent to prison. The day had started like any other day, but in a matter of seconds everything changed. Suddenly, the stove Ms. Perry was cooking on caught fire. The flames spread quickly. One of her other adult sons, ran in to put the fire out. The grease fire was not easy to contain. He yelled for his mother to leave the house with Jo’Asia and call the fire department. He finally managed to extinguish the flames just before the fire department arrived, but by then walls had been destroyed, the stove had melted, and the pantry behind the wall was completely ruined. It was in the ruined pantry that Ms. Perry had been hiding all of her Christmas gifts for her family. They were all destroyed.

It was in the ruined pantry that Ms. Perry had been hiding all of her Christmas gifts for her family. They were all destroyed.

The fire was devastating for the family financially. Already struggling to make ends meet on social security, Ms. Perry didn’t have up-to-date homeowner’s insurance. The cost for repairs went on a credit card, maxed it out in fact. There was nothing left to replace the lost Christmas gifts. She explained to her family, her two adult sons, and her two granddaughters, age 2 and 11, that there would be no Christmas presents this year. Her sons understood of course, and the two year old was too little to care, but Jo’Asia was heartbroken. Every day she asked why there was no Christmas tree yet. Would they get a tree? Ms. Perry didn’t know; she was too focused on getting her home repaired and surviving.

11 year-old, Jo’Asia, is surprised to learn she has Christmas gifts to open after all.

It was Ms. Perry’s sister that told Families Doing Time, director, Charis Blackmon, about the fire. With the help of donors and volunteers, Families Doing Time was able to replace nearly all of the lost gifts, and provided a basket of needed household supplies, and some new clothes donated by Old Navy. Her spirit somewhat lifted, Ms. Perry got a Christmas Tree 3 days before Christmas. Jo’Asia got her Christmas after all.

We’d like to tell you the story ends there, but as with so many of the families we work with, the Perrys face numerous challenges. Before the frigid cold front hit Charlotte, their heating unit went out. Ms. Perry has been warming her home with her new stove and a couple of space heaters. The cost of a new unit, and necessary new duct work is over $7,000. Families Doing Time is working with Ms. Perry and the city of Charlotte to secure her a new unit as soon as possible.

Despite these and other challenges, Ms. Perry’s faith is unwavering. She says when it rains it pours, and she doesn’t understand why so many bad things have been happening, but she just continues to go to church and place her faith in God that help will come and things will turn around.

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Newsletter – December, 2017

CCT News

Playing for Others Honors CCT


On November 17th, the nonprofit teen arts organization, Playing for Others, held their annual “Connecting Charlotte” event, where they premiered spoken word pieces for their nonprofit honorees. Each school year, Playing for Others chooses 10 local nonprofits to honor in a number of performance pieces, and CCT is one of those 10 for 2017-2018! You can watch piece honoring us in the video above. It is a powerful and emotional piece and we are so proud of these amazing youth!

CCT Receives Speedway Children’s Charities Grant

CCT once again received a grant from Speedway Children’s Charities for funding for our Families Doing Time Program. Speedway Children’s Charities is an organization that funds local nonprofit organizations that directly serve children in need. We are proud to continue to be part of that family.

This year’s award program included an opportunity for us to bring some of our Families Doing Time kids out to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to see Santa, meet their mascot, Lug Nut, and best of all, take a private drive through the beautiful Christmas Lights. It was an awesome experience for our kids!


Give Today


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 November.

Anonymous
Audra Atkinson
Beth Bennett-Hill
Jill Blumenthal
Kathy Booe
Anna Calhoun
Carmen Cabrera
Myra Clark
Morrison Creech
Ella D. Dennis
Emilio Echave
Catherine El-Khouri
Betty Hong
Janine Lafferty
Matthew Martell
Myrtle D. McRae
Delilah Montalvo

M. Munoz
Pamela Nemecek
Naiomi Pena
Bonnie Tangalos
Nancy Veloz
Thierry Wernaers
Julian and Amy Wright

Sponsors
Arlington Baptist Church
The Fred and Nancy Brumley Foundation
Junior League of Charlotte
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
Speedway Children’s Charities
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Valley of the Sun United Way


Opportunities to Give

This holiday season you can MAXIMIZE YOUR IMPACT by starting your very own fundraising page for CCT. By doing so you’ll become a part of our New Year, New Choices campaign now through December 31st. A few clicks will get you started and then all you have to do is share your fundraising page with friends and family and ask them to pitch in. You set your own fundraising goal, and we’ll provide the tools to help you meet it. By becoming a fundraiser for CCT you will:

  • Help spread the word about CCT and our programs to your friends and family.
  • Help our clients by helping us fund our programs for another year.
  • Increase YOUR impact and make a difference.

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

Gifts that Keep on Giving

You have your list ready and you’re headed to Amazon to make those final purchases so they will arrive in time for Christmas. Wait—don’t check out just yet! When you shop with Amazon, you can help support CCT at the same time. And, better yet—it won’t cost you a thing! 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. Start supporting CCT today!


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.

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

Gala in honor of Center for Women, Wednesday, December 20

TK2 ministries is graciously hosting a special Holiday Gala for residents of our Center for Women. This event is closed to the public but we are so excited about it we wanted to share the news anyway!

Coming Soon – A new Valentine’s Event, Date TBD

Be on the lookout for information about a brand new event hosted by CCT around Valentine’s Day!

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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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Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Families Doing Time

Contact Charis Blackmon, 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!

Contact Erik Ortega, 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.

Center for Women

Contact Nyeshia Carpenter, 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.

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