Why should you care about the ex-offender in your community?

Why should you care about the ex-offender in your community?

Local coalition works to reduce recidivism rates and replace stigmas with compassion

When it comes to tackling deep-rooted social issues, no single organization can do it alone. The Greater Gwinnett Reentry Alliance (GGRA) is a coalition of service providers in Gwinnett County that works to mobilize community resources — human, financial, and material — all with the purpose of reducing recidivism rates in the county and beyond…

Other partners in GGRA include GRIP, Hearts to Nourish Hope, Navigate Recovery, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Georgia Center for Opportunity, Judy House Ministry, Obria Medical Clinics and others.


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Joyce Mayberry Leads In New Role As Vice President of Family Formation

Joyce Mayberry Leads In New Role As Vice President of Family Formation

Joyce Mayberry Leads In New Role As Vice President of Family Formation

Joyce Mayberry will be moving into a new role as the Vice President of Family Formation. In this position, Joyce will continue to develop new ways to strengthen families in the communities we serve through our many partners.

This move in position reinforces three primary pillars of the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) team – opportunity for high-quality education, meaningful work, and healthy families. Family formation is an important foundation for ensuring we can maximize the chances of someone charting a path out of poverty.

Joyce has served the GCO community for the past two decades, becoming a  well-respected leader on family relationship resources. . Organizationally, she brings a powerful passion to better assist and train individuals on healthy relationships. 

 “I am excited about my new role as Vice President of Family Formation,” stated Joyce about this new alignment.” There is power in numbers and together we can help enhance and empower the well-being of family members.” 

Through collaboration with recent new partners, Joyce will work to streamline our family education efforts and continue to champion our invaluable partners.

This change will help GCO successfully set up pathways for those stuck in the cycles of poverty. It is through this renewed vision that we hope to bring new opportunities and break down barriers in 2020.

Why should you care about the ex-offender in your community?

Poll: Half of Georgians don’t want budget cuts

Most Georgians don’t want to see state budget cuts, according to a poll released Thursday, but critics say the language used in the survey was overly suggestive.

The survey conducted by the left-leaning Georgia Budget & Policy Institute found that about half of Georgians are in favor of more state spending, and most do not support budget cuts.

A little more than 1,000 registered Georgia voters from across the state were polled by the nonprofit research organization…

However, Corey Burres, spokesperson for the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said the verbiage used in the poll was meant to influence the responses.

 “For instance, in question 2, the poll begins with ‘Most of these budget cuts will affect agencies focused on public safety, health care and education,'” he said. “However, the governor exempted education and health care from those cuts, so it is a bit misleading to lead a poll question with this type of information.”


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Why should you care about the ex-offender in your community?

Georgia recoups about as much money in food stamp fraud as it spends

Georgia officials spend about as much investigating claims of food stamp fraud as they recoup for the state.


In the 2019 fiscal year, Georgia investigators spent more than $7.2 million to look into claims of fraud. Investigators found that $8.4 million in food stamps were wrongly distributed in 2,985 cases. State officials won’t say how much money they’ve recovered — the federal government releases that information — but in previous years it’s been in the neighborhood of 80%…

Buzz Brockway, the vice president of public policy for the think tank Georgia Center for Opportunity, said while the percentage of fraud is relatively low compared with the number of people who receive the benefits, he believes it’s important for the state to investigate and punish those involved.


“You want to try to prevent fraud when you can by putting safeguards in place to make sure the programs are benefiting the people (they were meant to benefit),” said Brockway, a former state House representative.


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Why should you care about the ex-offender in your community?

Georgia Senate committee votes to maintain felon rights restrictions

The Senate Study Committee on Revising Voting Rights for Nonviolent Felony Offenders decided Wednesday to keep Georgia’s constitution as it is.

The members voted 3-2 in favor of continuing to restrict nearly 250,000 convicted Georgia felons from voting.

According to Georgia’s law, people who have been convicted of crimes with moral turpitude cannot vote until they complete their full sentence, including probation or parole. The U.S. Department of Justice defines moral turpitude as “conduct that shocks the public conscience.”

The state’s constitution does not clearly define the term, however, leaving all felonies subject to the law.

The committee was created to study which specific nonviolent crimes should be eligible for voting rights restoration based upon the moral turpitude exemption. Over four months, the committee heard testimony from advocacy groups on different sides of criminal justice reform.

According to the Georgia Center for Opportunity, one in 13 adults in Georgia is in jail, prison, on probation or parole. That’s significantly higher than the national average of one in 31.


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Creating healthy relationships, one man at a time

Creating healthy relationships, one man at a time

Creating healthy relationships, one man at a time

“Family is not an important thing.
It’s everything.”


Those words of wisdom from Michael J. Fox reflect a core reality about us as human beings. We long for meaningful connections. But in a culture where families are ripped apart, and loneliness and addiction are rampant, so many of our neighbors know nothing of the warmth, joy, and assurance of healthy relationships and a stable home life.

No longer Bound signThat’s why Georgia Center for Opportunity is partnering with organizations like No Longer Bound, an Atlanta-based organization that enrolls men in a 12-month residential regeneration process to rescue addicts, regenerate men, and rescue families. Men who go through the program resolve wounds from their past, repair damaged belief systems, restore relationship health, and receive a new identity.


Partnership with GCO

Staff at No Longer Bound noticed that men often came into their program with a history of broken romantic relationships. These men are eager to learn better ways to manage their relationships and earnestly want to become better husbands and fathers. Learning to identify a healthy partner and how to appropriately pace relationship development is a building block to supporting long-term recovery work.

A group photo with No Longer Bound staff

As a result, GCO’s Healthy Families Initiative provided a healthy relationship curriculum to No Longer Bound to help their men improve their relationship skills.


Positive feedback

The curriculum and class led to positive feedback from the men who participated, like these:

“The class has given me tools to use and concentrate on while starting to date my wonderful girlfriend of 13+ years again.”

“The class put certain things in perspective for me.”

“It made me more conscientious of the dating process and how to respectfully court a lady.”

“The class gave me a more introspective way to view how relationships work. For the majority of my life, I’ve realized that it was all about the other person and how they could change me. But it’s just the opposite—it’s completely about changing my inner self. That translates to a lasting relationship.”

“The class helped me look inward and identify what kind of woman I want. Also what kind of man I want to be.”

More about HFI

If you want to discover ways you can help your neighbors find relational stability and a healthy family life, HFI is here to partner with you. HFI is a community-based program that joins with local churches, nonprofits, schools, and businesses to help people from all walks of life enjoy healthy, intact families and strong relationships. Click here for more.