From an increase in demand for client services to ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19, Center For Community Transitions (CCT) experienced significant disruptions to its operations during the global pandemic. Nonetheless, the non-profit organization did everything it could to continue helping people with criminal records and their families find a healthier and more productive way of living.
After unavoidable layoffs and financial strains in the midst of the pandemic, CCT looked for other sources of revenue to continue helping those who had experienced an encounter with the criminal justice system in addition to families impacted by incarceration.
CCT applied for a grant from City of Charlotte to continue serving those in need.
The Workforce Partner Support Grant from Charlotte Open For Business helped CCT expand its virtual trauma and substance abuse “in-reach” program to 27 individuals.
“The Workforce Partners Support Grant was important to our ability to provide virtual programming to the most vulnerable of the justice-involved population, those currently being detained at Mecklenburg County Detention Center (MCDC),” CCT Executive Director Patrice Funderburg said.
The grant funded operational expenses as well as costs for continuing education and technology for the program.
“We partnered with adult programs at Mecklenburg County Sheriff Office to arrange the virtual classes,” Funderburg said. “Being able to address trauma and provide clients with healthy coping skills while still incarcerated was made possible through receiving this grant.”
As for the future, CCT intends to focus on building more strategic partnerships.
Based on feedback from clients and staff moderators, CCT found the virtual trauma and substance abuse program to be very beneficial. One anonymous client shared that the program helped them with the tools needed to start their recovery journey, while another said: “Learning these coping skills is allowing me to see that I can do something different when faced with trauma.”
After a successful virtual program, CCT intends to continue its partnership with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office to continue providing these services in 2021. CCT learned that continuing to build innovative and strategic partnerships will have a lasting impact on the community it serves.
“We learned that having the ability to reach an underserved population is much needed and the ‘in-reach’ focus on currently incarcerated versus recently released men and women is an important step in preparing people to return to the community,” Funderburg said.
Center For Community Transitions received a Workforce Partner Support Grant from Charlotte Open For Business. Through the grant program, the City of Charlotte has awarded $3.5 million to workforce partners to provide programs for our community.