PROJECT PARTNERSHIP: New coalition to expand program offerings, participants

Published 7:45 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

DAILY NEWS SUCCESSFUL GRADUATES: Bishop Samuel Jones and Mother Jones of the Purpose of God Annex (pictured right) recognize participants of the annex’s Project New Hope during a graduation ceremony.

SUCCESSFUL GRADUATES: Bishop Samuel Jones and Mother Jones of the Purpose of God Annex (pictured right) recognize participants of the annex’s Project New Hope during a graduation ceremony.

A program that gives hope to those in need of a second chance is now expanding.

Project New Hope, a program coordinated and hosted by Purpose of God Annex since 2007, is now becoming a community effort through a partnership of several organizations. Earlier this week, Bishop Samuel Jones, founder and president of the annex, met with representatives from various organizations such as Ruth’s House Domestic Violence Shelter, Zion Homeless Shelter and Kitchen, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Covenant Church to discuss ways to better use the community’s available resources to provide programs and services to those needing help.

“I think the partnership is very important,” Jones said. “A lot of citizens don’t believe that we work together. I think we’ve been talking to each other from a distance, but we’ve now all come to the table to work together to identify those that need help and make sure we all pour into this to provide a full service.”

The new partnership will send people from Ruth’s House, Zion Shelter and from other agencies to participate in Project New Hope, giving them the opportunity to learn skills needed to acquire employment and become productive citizens, Jones said.

“Our different causes know that we need each other, and we are working with each other to pull resources and use each other’s resources before we go asking for more money to help run our program. We need help from the community to accomplish helping us to save our community By having all these entities come together, it makes good for the county to have a full-circle plan in helping some of these folks get back on their feet. If they are willing to put forth the effort, we are willing to help them put the tools in their hands to help them.”

From Covenant Church’s role in the partnership, the program will now be offered at the old P.S. Jones Middle School, 230 E. Eighth Street, where the church is located, according to Jones. The church is allowing Jones and his staff to host the program’s participants in three classrooms in the building.

Jones and his staff will also be coordinating with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office to host a class at the Beaufort County Jail on Wednesdays, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., giving inmates an opportunity to learn skills that can help them in their re-acclimation with society when they are released from imprisonment. Those who have just been released from jail are also potential participants of the program, but anyone who needs help in any of the subject matter pertaining to the offered courses can participate, according to Jones.

“I think (the program) is very important,” said Lieutenant Kat Bryan with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a critical time for a lot of people, whether it’s their first time (in jail) or they’ve been there before. If you can intervene somehow with community resourcing, training and programs, it can really be beneficial for their reentry into society. The sheriff is a huge advocate for what we’re doing. We appreciate this opportunity to partner with (Jones). It’s a great opportunity.”

The program’s offerings will increase as the partnership expands, Jones said. Jones will also be meeting with representatives at Beaufort County Community College in hopes of forging a partnership in which participants can receive Career Readiness Certifications or some form of credit for the classes provided through the program, he said.

“We are thankful to all the people who are paying attention to what’s really needed in the county,” Jones said. “I think it’s time we focus on people. People are what make our community what it is. If you don’t have your people straight, you can’t make it a place where people want to come and invest their dollars and start businesses.”

A new year of the program will commence next week, beginning with orientation for possible participants. The program is free to participants. Orientation for the program will be held Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., at which point Jones and his staff will provide a rundown of the program, including specific times of each class offered through the program. Among the classes offered through the program include: communication skills; money management; computer skills; interviewing skills; and grammar, to name a few.

The annex is currently looking for people in the community, who are interested in instructing two courses for the program — the grammar class and the money management class, Jones said.

For more information, or to volunteer to help with the program, contact Purpose of God Annex at 252-974-1484. To attend Project New Hope’s orientation class Tuesday, report to 230 E. Eighth Street at Transition’s Theater.