Non-profit organization opens halfway house in Greenville for women returning from prison | News

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – An upstate nonprofit hopes to make a difference in the lives of many people after they return from prison. Now there is a new focus on women as they face reintegration.

Soteria Community Development Corporation “will open a 16-bed halfway house for women returning home from incarceration,” CEO and Founder Jerry Blassingame told FOX Carolina.

This will directly provide women with assistance with housing, employment, professional licensing, mentoring and more.

We asked Blassingame why he’s gearing this towards women.

“There are not many services [for women].”

“I know how scary it can be, I know the uncertainty, I understand all the fears and all the challenges that people face,” said April Barksdale, program director of the women’s home.

Barksdale understands firsthand what the future wives of the house face. She was herself incarcerated for five years but was successfully reinstated ten years ago. Because of her experience, she is thrilled to help women understand the ins and outs of navigating what can feel like a new life.

“Hey, we still see the goodness in you,” Barksdale said. “We don’t see inmate number 312241 from the South Carolina Department of Corrections, we see you.”

“Our programs last from six months to a year,” Blassingame said. “If they get to a year and feel they need more time, we can give them an extension for another six months.”

The house is currently being renovated but should be open in April.

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