Re-Entry and Open House at Church Street in Tupelo
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 a social media platform but we are posting an album that will give insight into the success of our Re-Entry Kickoff Month.
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.
Director of Mississippi Corridor Consortium Dr. Marion Tutor joins J.T. Williamson of SuperTalk broadcast a discussion about workforce and job readiness preparation classes as a part of the re-entry program.
Christi Webb, Executive Director of The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi and Co-Director of Families First for Mississippi with FRC Chairman of Re-Entry Committee Mitch Caver talk with J.T. about the various sub-programs that fall under the Re-Entry platform.
Anti-Bullying presented at NEMCC during NEMFCA
Toyota Learning Clients honor a student with shower
Sandra Carrillo was honored with a baby shower to celebrate her new baby boy expected to make his appearance in July. The shower was hosted by her classmates at The Family Resource Center. She has been in the ESL/GED and Toyota Family Learning program for three years. Her son Jake is in the literacy program and receives help with school work weekly.
Events, like this shower and this community building, are encouraged by the Toyota Family Learning program.
Building your community… building your TRIBE… is important for many reasons. Your group supports you when things are not so great. They share your happiness when things are wonderful. You learn from each other and they challenge you to be the best you can be!
Many clients of The Family Resource Center in Tupelo have experienced this “community” and the friendship that has grown as individuals have sought to become their best.
The Desoto County Social Services Coalition meets the 4th Thursday of each month.
Christi McCafferty, Abby McDonald, and Laura Dunning were in attendance with 23 others who meet together to help serve those in need in the area.
SPREAD THE LOVE, SPREAD THE PRODUCE
The Family Resource Center in Hernando recently partnered with Molina Healthcare on their Farm to Table Initiative. Farm to Table aimed to provide fresh produce to Molina members in the DeSoto County region. With an excess of food to share, the Family Resource Center and Molina representatives were able to pass out produce to families in need visiting the FRC, Economic Assistance office and the Hernando Health Department. After the program was over, the Family Resource Center directed the leftover food to Fish-N-Loaves Feeding Ministry Director, Austin Avery. Austin is currently collaborating with FRC, City of Hernando and local churches and organizations to start up the Feeding Hernando initiative. This operation aims to provide free access to nutritious and sustainable food to communities in need.
Mommie and Me series at Horn Lake Library (DeSoto County ) graduated seventh class
Family Resource Center Field Educator, Marta Smally, just graduated her seventh Mommy and Me class at the Horn Lake Library! Mommy and Me serves as a time when young mothers can relax, make lifelong friends and learn new parenting skills. Mommy and Me also allows young children to play and build skills needed to be successful in school. "This is a group of wonderful children with a bright future. We at FRC are privileged to be a part of the training and building of the future of America!" - Marta Smally
Northeast Mississippi Football Association All-Star Banquet
Northeast Mississippi Football Association All-Star Banquet was held at Booneville High school for players and parents from the North/South NEMFCA All-Star Team on May 14th. The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) sponsored the banquet and brought in Johnie Cooks to speak to those assembled.
In an inspiration speech, Cooks talked about life in general and he also discussed how he left home in the Delta headed to Mississippi State with only five dollars in his pocket and he also talked about failure not being an option.
Cooks is a former professional American football player who played for Mississippi State University and then played for the Colts, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns. He was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
A seminar was held on May 15th with Shelia David of FRC as presenter for those attending the event. FRC also had a table set up to make families aware of the resources that FRC has to offer. She also did a team building exercise with the players.
Safety Day in Tupelo brings in partners who also serve the community with safety and other services
The Tupelo Campus of The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi once a year takes the opportunity to show gratitude to their clients and gives them a “Safety Day.” While this day starts with this group, it is also open to the public in general. At this event, they serve refreshments, have games and have drawings for prizes for the children (bicycles provided by the Children’s Advocacy Center).
Also on board are many other organizations that also provide services to better the community who bring treats for the little ones and lots of valuable information for the visitors. All present were there to reach out to visitors with “safety” information: car seats, well-being checkups, vaccinations, bicycling and other fun activities, dental and other health care, family training and much more.
Magnolia Health, North Mississippi Primary Health Care, Lifecore, Catch Kids, Boys & Girls Club, United Health, Mississippi State Department of Health, Tupelo Aquatic Center and others were on hand to work together to improve family life and community concerns.
FRC presents scholarship to Charlie Gautier
The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) presented a $1000 scholarship to Charlie Gautier on May 22nd. The scholarship is funded through the Ann Neal-Moore Scholarship grant, the fourth annual grant for this scholarship.
Charlie Gautier will begin classes at Mississippi State University in the fall. He is a recent graduate of Jackson Academy, a college preparatory school in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the grandson of Ann Neal-Moore.
Ann Neal-Moore is the former Executive Director of His Way, Inc., a Ridgeland-based nonprofit organization that generates revenue from Magnolia Bingo in Tupelo. Grants from these proceeds have been directed in part to the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), a program through FRC that coordinates a multidisciplinary team for forensic interviews and case management of children where there are allegations of abuse. “They basically helped us to design the CAC,” said Christi Webb, Executive Director of FRC. “Ann has played an important role in the success of the FRC.”
His-Way, Inc., has also been the grantor for other needs of FRC during the past decade. Contributions over the years have been hundreds of thousands funding building and parking needs, in addition to the CAC and other programs.
The Big Picture: Re-entry program taught to inmates
Tony Corrie, pictured above, works with inmates in several locations to assist those incarcerated move back into society in ways that helps entry into the workforce be more successful.
While he is active in the re-entry area, he also teaches other life skills. These are also taught by Jeff Finch at Dimas Charities in Tupelo, by Cynthia Hines and her team in the Delta Group at the regional correction center and by Terry Walters at the Monroe County Sheriff's Dept. Walters also holds NLRO sessions for those working to earn high school diplomas.
Even if an incarcerated person accepts responsibility for their crime and understands that they made mistakes, many times they don’t see how they can reach past their current circumstance and re-enter the world as a productive and respected worker. The desire to overcome their mistakes may be there but the pathway back to the workforce and job readiness is just not clear. This is where Tony Corrie comes in.
Tony is a Field Educator with the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi and one part of his job is working with incarcerated citizens who need help re-entering the workforce or, for some, entering the workforce for the very first time as a clean and sober, skilled worker.
Because there is more to job readiness than just being able to correctly complete a job application or prepare a resume, Tony’s ten-week sessions delve into parenthood, spousal and family relationships, substance abuse and addiction. His students learn about recovery steps, educational opportunities, and workforce programs that are available to them upon release.
Anger management in personal and work environments are addressed. Budgeting principles and management after the job has been attained is taught. In other words, inmates are presented with comprehensive crash courses on how to move from lives that included law-breaking habits to law-abiding lifestyles that are actually attainable. Tony works to bring the programming and curriculum taught by other field educators in locations throughout the state to the prison population.
As part of Families First for Mississippi- North, the Family Resource Center (FRC) presents programs in literacy, online high school diplomas, life skills (parenting, anger management, budgeting and much more), workforce and job readiness, addiction education and recovery, tobacco –free awareness programs, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the faith-based Beds for Kids program, youth development with healthy choices, legal help with guardianship issues, domestic violence programs, pathways to citizenship, ESOL and more.
Each client is assessed to determine what combined course of training would help the client to resolve issues in each life. Each plan will probably be a combination of different paths. The bottom line, however, that this organization exists to help individuals learn to overcome those obstacles that block them from living within families that have healthy relationships, self-esteem and respect from within and outside the family, to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in this great nation and to work in fulfilling, promotable jobs that provide healthy family structures and achievable opportunities.
This is the foundation of The Family Resource Center. This is Families First for Mississippi.
Sherwin-Williams painted FRC Tupelo Office
A non-profit organization operates differently than other corporations in that funding very often comes through grants and donations. This also means that funding and donations are related to many external events.
In January, The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC) was impacted by several government and economic actions. One of those was the government shutdown resultant of the presidential and congressional impasse over the border wall. The impact of this was that there was shift in governmental funding in certain areas and, bottom line, that ricocheted down to FRC.
FRC operations were impacted by the funding changes and several employees had to be laid off. Not only were those lives impacted but the remaining operations and processes were compromised with a restructuring of offices and a shift of project priorities.
One of these projects is that the main building in the Tupelo Campus was in the process of being painted. The employee who was partially through the interior painting was laid off and the project has remained in limbo these two months.
This month, a representative of Sherwin-Williams called to offer a solution, even though he didn’t know a solution was needed. As part of National Painting Week, Sherwin-Williams selects local non-profit organizations to get a fresh coat of paint, providing all of the paint, supplies and labor. Those rooms that were left in limbo were painted by them on April 23rd.
Amanda Fredericks, Co-Director of Programming, who is serving a liaison on this paint project said,” This is a random act of goodness and kindness that came at exactly the right timing, exactly when we needed it.”
The project was started with Sherwin-Williams paint and will now be completed with Sherwin-Williams help and paint! She said, “This is another example of a blessing that just seems to come out of nowhere! That call just came out of the blue.”
Beds for Kids received donation of over $2500
Chick-fil-A, for the second time, provided a “spirit” night on April 22 to raise funds for the Beds for Kids program. This program is one of the faith-based programs that is sponsored by Families First for Mississippi through The Family Resource Center. A portion of the proceeds from the evening, between the hours of 5 and 7, were donated to the bed program. On April 25th, Chick-fil-A presented a check for $2,567.03 to the Beds for Kids team. With his hand on the top of the check is Owner/Operator Jamey Finley. To his left is the Chick-fil-A team and to his right in the blue shirt is Stanley Huddleston, who leads the program; to his left is are his team members.
Beds for Kids has placed over 250 beds during their first year of operation, celebrated this month. The program is predicted to continue to grow rapidly this next year as there are churches and other groups that have been moved to assume some of the growth and operations needs.
The first base for the program was through Mt. Olive Baptist church where one member, Jacob Cunningham, donated the use of his workshop as a place to build the beds. The Career and Tech Center in Calhoun City is now building and delivering to those who need beds in that area. A church in the Tupelo area is investigating the program and seeking a site for a workshop in Tupelo. The increased interest has also spread to other locations who have been in conversation with Stanley Huddleston about the logistics and management of the program. As these new Beds for Kids centers come to fruition, that “spirit” exhibited by Chick-fil-A is expected to be embraced by other communities and additional good-hearted people.
Ole Miss Social Work Students Raise money for CAC
When a student turns a senior project into philanthropic project, members of the community are touched by the efforts and add their support to the project. That is exactly what happened with Amanda Wilkerson and Brianna Collier. They decided to plan and execute an event to raise money for the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in Tupelo.
The CAC is a part of The Family Resource Center for North Mississippi that works with abused children and their guardians through the process of guiding them through legal, medical, and therapeutic avenues. They partner with a multidisciplinary team of law, court, medical and other agencies that may be involved with the cases so that the children are less traumatized through these forensic interviews and pathways to recovery. This is paired with counseling and many other services in-house at the CAC and also with other agencies.
Amanda and Brianna wanted to help with the cost of these services that are provided at no cost to the children and guardians the CAC embraces and helps to reach resolution and healing. Their efforts turned this project into a community project that provided fun for the participants, information about the CAC program and a cohesiveness that crossed barriers of different groups, organizations and individuals.
Selecting venues, planning events for little children, arranging concession stands for comfort and profit, commemorative and memorable events for those who were fatally affected by this terrible blight in this country, collecting data to display, and engaging volunteers to help and provide needed equipment, space, and supplies. These efforts were evident in the event enactment and the final result of $1,045 presented to the CAC to carry on their efforts.
Amanda and Brianna are Social Work students at the University of Miss in Tupelo and deserve the greatest of accolades for not only their project target but the excellent execution of their event.