Project New Start
Our Project New Start has a target population of women — 15+ years in age who are currently incarcerated at the Forsyth County Detention Center or are post-release and seeking residential or outpatient services to become healthy and productive members of our community. The program begins in the Forsyth County Detention Center where we do a women’s Bible Study once a week with the female inmates. Upon release, they are invited to attend Project New Start at the Hawley House, which is held once a week on Thursday evening and offers a free meal. This support group discusses many topics involving positive lifestyle changes and offers emergency services as needed. Our goal is to help reduce recidivism and help these women become productive members of society.
In 2016, Project New Start’s program:
Served 740 women at the Detention Center
Served 225 women and their children post-release
Had a 100% success rate of 30 women who participated in the Hawley House program after release & DID NOT return to prison
Activities for incarcerated clients include weekly classes for up to 20 women, with over 700 served yearly. We focus on increasing their knowledge of positive decision making, positive choices, goal setting, and breaking down barriers to improve their quality of life specifically for the women who are in domestic violence situations. We deliver spiritual literature and information about community resources to use upon release. The program head also conducts personal interviews during professional visits to gather information needed to successfully help each client upon release.
Activities for post-release women include a weekly support group at Hawley House (transportation provided); free dinner meals on Thursdays; referrals and transportation to Project Reentry, NC Vocational Rehabilitation Services, WFBH Downtown Health Plaza, Crisis Control, and Financial Pathways. We also provide assistance and transportation in getting Social Security cards and identification; and emergency financial assistance for rent, medications and utilities.
Outcomes sought for clients of The Hawley House and Project New Start include the following: better physical and mental health, gainful employment making a living wage, reliable housing and reunification with families when appropriate.
Hawley House residents are often referred from Project New Start. It is estimated that 40-50% of residents come from this program.