Straight Talk Support Group was started by our Executive Director, Ms. Bessie Elmore, in March of 2013. She originally started STSG as a support group for those whose loved ones are incarcerated. As the support groups went on, people would have lots of questions regarding their loved ones’ incarceration. This led Ms. Elmore to want to create a resource center, for people to be able to access the information they were looking for.
Ms. Elmore was an instructor at Durham Technical Community College at the time, and was familiar with classes on computer skills, job readiness skills, and resume writing skills. Ms. Elmore’s next goal was to establish a computer lab to be able to teach these skills to people who have returned home from their incarceration. She had been facilitating these classes at the Troy House, a federal funded transitional house for men once released from prison. The Troy House announced it was closing in 2017, and when Ms. Elmore inquired what was going to happen to it, they asked if she would like it. After some help from friends and others in the industry, she created a proposal that was approved. Ms. Elmore then went to the Durham Reentry Council Open House and was able to connect with people and actually was connected with who would become the first resident at Straight Talk Support Group Transitional House!
Since then, STSG has entered in a contract from the NC Department of Public Safety. That contract is for ten beds within the house to be saved for DPS justice involved individuals. NCDPS is also using STSG Transitional House as a pilot program for hard to place justice involved individuals, suffering from mental and some physical ailments.