NEWS & EVENTS
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The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Iuka at their new location of 236 Kaki Street.
The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Iuka at their new location of 236 Kaki Street. Field Educator/Center Coordinator Tonya McAnally, Center Liaison Pam Morris and other staff members (including a wonderful group of interns) prepared luscious appetizers and rolled out the welcome mat.
Present for the ribbon cutting were many of the local supporting organizations, business leaders, county and city leaders, along with supportive citizens. They were greeted by Executive Director of FRC Christi Webb, Robert and Patti Coggins (FRC Quality Control and PR Liaisons), along with other staff on site from other locations. The general consensus of all the guests present was delight that FRC has opened a center in Tishomingo County, some voicing the great need for some of the services offered by the center.
FRC-Iuka will feature the Families First for Mississippi program which offers to the community programs in education, literacy, parenting, youth development, job readiness, re-entry programs with sub-programs to address addiction and other needs. This program is jointly administered across the state of Mississippi by The Family Resource Center and Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) of Jackson.
The center will the site for many classes in these pillars and will include NLRO (New Learning Resource Online) that provides the opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma. These students and all Tishomingo residents can also avail themselves of the job readiness/workforce training and guidance.
More information about these classes is available at
An Open House at the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) took place today (May 31st) at 507 South Church Street in Tupelo to kick off Re-Entry Awareness Month. SuperTalk Radio was onsite with scheduled interviews with various FRC professionals and local dignitaries who provided insight into the program, other agency interaction with the program and how individuals are being guided to the steps they need to re-enter the workforce and live more meaningful lives.
As the day progressed, many revered and distinguished guests stopped by to offer their support to the Re-Entry Program implemented this year. FRC is grateful to each and every organization represented and every single individual that stopped by to offer their support. There were so many present that it is impossible to offer thanks to each on this platform but we are posting an album on FACEBOOK that will give insight into the success of our Re-Entry Kickoff Month. [https://www.facebook.com/nmfrc/]
All were welcomed to the recently renovated 507 S. Church building that will provide greatly expanded classrooms, gathering space for coalitions and for client family events.
Visit www.frcnms.org to get a glimpse of the FRC services, including the Families First for Mississippi (FFFM) program that covers the state of Mississippi in partnership with MCEC headquartered in Jackson. See the programs of FFFM at www.familiesfirstforms.org.
The mission of the Re-Entry Program at FRC is to help to evaluate the problems, provide support and instruction on how to take care of the issues and then to guide clients through the next steps needed. Some of the clients are in addiction recovery; some are preparing for re-entry after being incarcerated; some are addressing other issues from bad judgements; some need guidance in earning high school diplomas or workforce training.
Every individual on the face of the earth will make a bad judgement at some point during their lives. If that judgement is innocuous as not mowing the yard when the forecast has predicted a week of rain, the only real consequence from this is how to recover an out of control lawn.
For others, that bad judgement may have serious implications and there are many obstacles to overcome so that life can become productive and meaningful again. Sometimes, help is needed in putting all the pieces of the puzzle back together so that first step to re-entering the workforce and society can be taken.
Reports say that 6.95% of Mississippi residents reported past-month use of illicit drug use. As of May 2019, the Mississippi Department of Correction reported there are 54,377 inmates, parolees and probationers in the state (state population is ~2.5 mil so this ~2%). The poverty level in 2011 in Mississippi was reported at 22.6%. Of the residents who are 25 years or older, 17% have not attained a high school diploma. The unemployment rate is reported at 4.7%.
There are many consequences to many decisions, some bad decisions. Some of the consequences are because of addiction, anger, relationship problems, education or poor work skills. That is what the Re-Entry program is addressing. FFFM is currently providing training in half-way houses, in jails, in prisons, through workshops and classes at various facilities.
A better Mississippi means better prepared citizens who understand what is needed to re-enter society and the workforce and, more importantly, how to sustain these goals and lifestyle long-term.
Re-Entry Program helps to prepare individuals to move back into the workforce
The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi has implemented a three pronged approach to address the needs of individuals along a continuum of circumstances surrounding criminal convictions:
Diversion before prison. The First Circuit District Drug Court refers all cases to Families First for Mississippi and one of our qualified staff will work with the referrals. These are usually minor misdemeanor drug convictions where the person will not be going to jail or prison. Our diversion program uses our certified counselors to help the referrals understand the root causes of their problems and the need for change in their lives. The Family Resource Center’s life skills classes such as Parenting, Anger Management, Healthy Relationships, Fatherhood Education, Co-Parenting Education, and Domestic Violence Prevention provide targeted information and training for the individuals. We are particularity proud of our (MRT) Moral Reconation Therapy certification—our staff was one of the first certified in the state- that incorporates these life skills along with substance abuse prevention. Additionally, our partnership with the local community colleges which make up the Mississippi Corridor Consortium provides a direct pathway to skills training and job readiness through the use of jobs navigators.
Re-entry within prison . A pilot program began in early 2019, where the Family Resource Center staff partnered with the Alcorn Regional Correctional Facility and the Chickasaw Regional Correction Facility to provide education and training to selected individuals who are 18-24 months from release. Northeast Community College was already providing academic and job skills training at the Alcorn facility and we joined with them to provide our life skills classes and MRT education to those participants. For the Chickasaw facility, we enlisted Itawamba Community College for the academic and job skills classes and we provide life skills and MRT.
Post-release. To further assist individuals once they leave prison, we continue our programs in various locations for those now out in society to keep them on track and have commitments with probation officers to help us maintain our relation with those released from prison.
We are now fully deployed with our pilot and expect positive results to be reported at the end of the first year. To be sure our programs are making a difference in the lives of the participants, our data collection division, headed by Dr. Colin Billingsley, will be tracking these populations and insuring data proves those expected reductions in recidivism rates.