January 25, 2019

FLOCK Partner Spotlight: Soteria Community Development Corporation

WhoSoteria Community Development Corporation

Where: Greenville, SC 

What: Soteria Community Development Corporation (Soteria) seeks to provide transitional housing, counseling, and a sense of community for men transitioning out of incarceration, and to provide resources to help them reach self-sufficiency. Throughout South Carolina, thousands of families struggle daily with the impact of incarceration coupled with poor financial management and lack of education. Soteria seeks to correct these issues by working with local government leaders, churches, and organizations to give those in need a sense of independence.

Why: Executive Director Jerry Blassingame experienced the struggle of re-entering society after being released from prison. While incarcerated, he found hope through prayer and writing. Once released, he quickly realized the difficulties of adjusting back into society. From this struggle came the motivation behind Soteria. Putting the pieces back together after being released is no easy fete, especially for those lacking support. Jerry saw a hole in the system and wanted to fill it.

How: Through Soteria, individuals are provided with the necessary tools — including housing, job training and discipleship programs — to aid in a smooth transition back into society. The yearlong Soteria Transitioning Program sets participants up for success from the very beginning and provides clothing, food and transportation. In addition, Soteria also employs participants of the program through our social enterprise, Soteria at Work. Soteria At Work offers deconstruction and reclaimed services and then builds custom furniture with the salvaged lumber.  Upon program completion, participants receive assistance in finding permanent housing, and have the option to rent one of three Soteria rental houses as they search. Soteria also provides channels for those who would like to continue their education or pursue technical training.

Soteria also offers additional services to the entire community such as a food pantry, clothing closet, financial literacy classes and job placement services amongst others. For a full list of the services they provide, click the link here.

How FLOCK Supports:

Over the last several years, House of Raeford Farms FLOCK has supported Soteria’s annual 5k, donated funding for the Transitioning Program and provided food for the pantry. House of Raeford Farms in Greenville also provides jobs for those coming out of the job placement program Soteria runs. Looking forward, FLOCK hopes to continue to build upon the partnership in years to come.

“The 5k is essential for building awareness of Soteria as a resource in the community and educating people about the services we provide. FLOCK also allows us to celebrate our participants and raise essential funding to keep our program up and running. We’re extremely appreciative of FLOCK’s continued support of our organization,” said Jerry Blassingame, Executive Director of Soteria CDC and Senior Pastor of Soteria Christian Fellowship.

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