Walking alongside

Last night, we had the opportunity to gather virtually and share during our Rally ‘Round event.  With the support of our sponsors, Fashion & Compassion, Siela Boutique, ColsonKeane, Vera Bradley and Haines Financial Services, we shared a behind the scenes look at the journey of women impacted by incarceration.

So often, we go off our preconceived notions, based on what we see on TV or movies, about what the journey of incarceration looks like.  Because Changed Choices journeys with our clients from arrest to reentry, as a staff, we have the opportunity to understand what each woman’s journey truly looks like.

We are currently walking alongside 75 women, 33 pre-release and 42 reentry clients, as well as their children.  To share their journey, we asked viewers to follow along a virtual scavenger hunt and look for the following clues:

Stamp: Communication is vital for our pre-release clients who have limited access to phone calls, and must utilize the US mail as their main communication source.

Glasses: Each client works with our programming staff to create a Vision Plan.  This process allows us to get to know a woman’s individual needs, dreams and future goals.  The Vision Plan creates actionable steps for successful reentry.

ID: Did you know over the course of the pandemic, it could take up to 6 weeks to secure an appointment for getting your driver’s license/state ID?  Having picture identification is vital to successful reentry; you can’t apply for a job, services, support or a bank account without it. 

Key: Housing remains to be one of the biggest challenges for women returning to our community.  60 new people come to Mecklenburg County every day, and the average 2 bedroom rents for $1915/month.

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