As followers of Christ, we empower currently and recently incarcerated women to achieve lasting, positive change through programming and personalized mental, emotional, physical and spiritual support.
Diane Hunt – Executive Director
Challise Cantleberry - Program & Services Director
Gail Clark - Volunteer Services Manager, Staff Accountant
Gayle Eason - Spiritual Care & Outreach Manager
Brenda Freeman – Ruth Snyder Re-entry Home Manager
Katrina Ikard - Pre-Release Care Manager
Terre Lucas - Reentry Care Manager
Back in 1999 Ruth Snyder began visiting two women incarcerated in the Mecklenburg County Sherriff’s Office (MCSO) Detention Center. She found the ladies broken, afraid and feeling very much alone. Ruth recruited others and they began to teach, mentor and encourage an increasing number of women at MCSO on a spiritual and emotional level. When the women left MCSO to go to prison, personal contact continued through the mail and phone calls.
It was out of this that "Changed Choices" was born. A non-profit agency which has continued to develop; meeting the needs of the "clients" they followed into prison.
Today, Changed Choices staff and volunteers continue to serve the ladies at MCSO as chaplains' assistants, mentors, life skills instructors, and professional counselors.
Those who become Changed Choices clients benefit from the CARE program (Comprehensive Approach to Re-entry Effectiveness) which has two key components:
CARE 1 supports clients in prison. It provides correspondence with a Pre-Release Care Manager, a pen pal, a Bible Study coach and card writers and for some, provisions for basic needs.
CARE 2 supports clients as they return to the community. Our Re-entry Care Manager and volunteers provide the tools and resources the women need for successful independent living in our community, such as housing, employment, and family reunification. Some clients reside at our Ruth Snyder Re-entry home.
Our program along with partnerships in the community has made Changed Choices a leader in helping women build new lives beyond prison wall. Today, the very low recidivism rate continues to speak clearly to the effectiveness of the program. Our staff has grown, but we continue to rely on our strong volunteer base to carry out our mission.
Sherry Teat, Chair
Robert Phifer, Vice Chair
April Smith, Secretary
Michael Malone, Treasurer
Ruth Snyder, Founder