Executive Director Chaleetra Hornes said she was inspired to start a program to help integrate people coming out of the prison system back into society because of her own experiences.
“I was in prison for two-and-half years and what I saw was like a revolving door because the same people were coming in and out of the prison system,” she said.
Hornes said she decided once she was released she wanted to help stop the cycle of repeat offenders.
The center provides life-coaching, mentoring, help with resume writing and job coaching to those in need.
“We provide anything we can to help ex-offenders become successful, productive citizens,” Ms. Hornes said.
Her husband Rodney Hornes, who is a 20-year military veteran, also wanted to help the community.
“I designed the Veterans Helping Veterans program and my wife and I decided to incorporate both of our passions together in one facility,” Hornes said.
The new center includes a computer lab with Internet connection so program participants can easily search for jobs.
Program Coordinator Yvette Bell said she assists with media and helping users understand how to use technology to build resumes and fill out applications.
The center also houses a clothing boutique with new or gently used business attire.
“If an ex-offender participates in some of our counseling and coaching programs, we will provide that person with nice clothing to go on interviews,” said Mrs. Hornes.
The facility provides toiletries and makeup as well.
“Many people coming out of the prison system have no one to help them and no place to go, so we wanted to make our center welcoming,” Mrs. Hornes said.
She said she is excited to build a better community through the center and has already received an outpouring of support from businesses and other organizations in the area.
“Even though our facility is brand new, we’re already planning for the future and adding more programs and resources to our space,” Mrs. Hornes said.
The center is at 4848-A Old National Highway in College Park.
Information: (404) 684-9508.