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Turn90 Uses CCCF Connected Communities Grant to Provide Transportation for Columbia Clients

Turn90 has purchased a van with the help of Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Connected Communities grant, the van allowing the men they serve to attend various medical appointments and job interviews that they otherwise would not have transportation for. The Columbia-based reentry center’s lack of company transportation was an obstacle for the first seven months it was open. The addition of this van has helped make many more services accessible to the men Turn90 serves.

“We do a lot in house, but we can’t do everything for somebody, so we must use existing community resources to address those needs,” said Amy Barch, founder of Turn90. “Although if we don’t have a way to help our men access those resources, they’re essentially not available to them.”

Turn90 is a four-month program that provides therapeutic classes and transitional work to men returning home from prison. The nonprofit’s goal is to equip the men it serves with the skills to stay out of prison and connect to quality employment, creating a community which is safe for all to live and work. The men that Turn90 serve face a lot of barriers when going to classes and work. The organization wants to establish stable transportation and proper medical services necessary to live everyday life before they secure a job.

Recently, Turn90’s focus has been on individualized support, ensuring that these services are provided to everyone in the program. The nonprofit helps men to obtain glasses if needed, fill prescriptions and schedule any dental or medical appointments.

The emphasis upon transportation continues through this individualized support. The job opportunities for these men are already limited due to their felony record. If they can’t get to a job, it becomes even harder to secure a well-paid position. For this reason, the organization is determined to attain a driver’s license or permit and car for each man. Staff help men save for their first vehicle or sometimes vehicles are donated. Turn90 wants to assure that the men they serve will be equipped to successfully keep a job after the program.

“We want to try to get all of those things taken care of while they’re with us so by the time they actually go in the work force they’re successful,” said Barch. “Having those things stabilized in someone’s life is a huge weight off their shoulders which helps them succeed in other parts of their life.”

In addition to transportation, Turn90 provides case management to address individual needs, intensive cognitive behavioral classes, pay for the men’s time in daily classes and to work in Turn90’s screen printing social enterprise.  Front line services are delivered by previous graduates of the Turn90 program. Once completing the program, graduates are placed into jobs with competitive wages and opportunity for advancement.The initiative saves each community roughly $400,000 per year by serving men and providing them with the help they need. Turn90 currently has locations in Columbia and Charleston and plans to expand to the Upstate next year with the help of fundraising. The nonprofit just reached their $3.2 million fundraising goal in only 18 months.

The Community Foundation is proud to support Turn90 through the Connected Communities grant. Recently, CCCF staff members Trimease Carter and Baneeka Cummings-Daniels enjoyed their time visiting the Columbia location. They were given a tour of the facility, sat in on a skills class and met Turn90 founder Amy Barch as seen below.Central Carolina Community Foundation is working to make the Midlands more connected, compassionate and engaged through the Connected Communities grants. This grant funds innovative ideas from nonprofits that will further knit the community together and improve the community’s quality of life. The Foundation aims to inspire organizations to engage and invest in our community and build on the community’s existing assets.

To learn more about the Connected Communities grants visit: https://www.yourfoundation.org/connected-communities-grant/.

 

 

 

 

 

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