Soteria Community Development Corporation opened its doors over 20 years ago to create opportunities for previously incarcerated individuals to thrive.
Our founder, Jerry Blassingame, wrote the business plan from his prison cell as he watched men get out of prison only to return within a few months.
The mission and vision that Jerry created all those years ago has consistently guided this organization to help thousands of people impacted by our criminal justice system.
Our Reentry Program provides housing, education, employment, affirmation, and advocacy services to men and women for 6-12 months where individuals receive:
- Transitional Housing
- Clothing & Food
- Full Time Employment
- Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling
- Education & Technical Training
- Devotion & Bible Study
- Financial Literacy Classes
Transitional Housing: SOTERIA HOUSE
Soteria House for Men is a 16-bed transitional home in Travelers Rest and Soteria House for Women is a 16-bed transitional home in Greenville where our interns live while enrolled in our 6–12-month program.
Interns at Soteria House follow a daily schedule that begins with journaling and ends with a family-style meal in the evenings.
Our participants are assigned responsibilities such as driver, cook, and house manager to support one another as they come and go from their job placements within the community.
We have curfews and community service requirements to help men and women establish the structures that support healthy, successful lifestyles as they transition back into society.
Social Enterprise: SOTERIA AT WORK
A social enterprise exists to address social issues rather than focusing primarily on profit.
Soteria At Work is our woodworking shop that uses carpentry to teach job skills to men enrolled in our program – both enhancing the workforce and creating new jobs.
We deconstruct old buildings, reclaim the wood, and create beautiful pieces of furniture – like sliding barn doors and farm tables. As men reclaim the wood – sanding, building, finishing – they see the same process at work in their own lives as they work through our reentry program.
Things that were discarded become beautiful and full of value.
Unfortunately, our workshop was burned in July when a dumpster outside of our building caught fire, and we lost everything.
We are working diligently to build both a temporary and a permanent workspace so that we can continue to “Reclaim Wood, Reclaim Lives”.
Learn more about our work at SOTERIAATWORK.COM
To further our commitment to community development, Soteria provides affordable housing units for low-moderate income families.
Our (6) 2-Bedroom and (7) 3-Bedroom rentals often become the next step for our program participants once they graduate.
Support Soteria // JOIN US OCT 27!
Soteria has an annual Fundraiser every Fall where we host a community conversation that educates and inspires people both about the realities of reentry and about the power of community.
We also auction art and furniture created by local artisans and men in our Soteria at Work job training program.
This year, our fundraiser will be Oct 27 from 7-9pm at Fluor Field.
For tickets and details, visit event.gives/Soteria
If you would like to donate, visit our website at SoteriaCDC.org, and select the Donate button.
In FY 2021, Greenville County was the highest committing county in SC, accounting for 10.1% of the State’s incarcerated population.
Over 700,000 People Are Released from State & Federal Prisons Annually.
- Nearly 60% are unemployed after 1 year.
- 50% are rearrested within 12 months of release.
- 67% are rearrested within 36 months of release.
Source: National Institute of Justice, US Bureau of Justice Statistics
10 Million Children In The Us Have Had A Parent Incarcerated.
- 70% of them will serve time in prison as well. Source: Pew Charitable Trusts
- Currently 122 legal statutes that directly prevent individuals from obtaining employment.
- Nationwide, 15-17% of post-incarcerated individuals expect to be homeless upon their release, which can lead to other challenges including poor mental and physical health, lack of education and employment opportunities, and strains on family relationships
- Post-incarcerated individuals entering Greenville County, with a lack of education, employment, and housing, contribute and will continue to contribute to Greenville County’s current poverty rate of 12.1%.