Recent Press and Announcements

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Homeless get a hand up

BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR

The ochre-breasted bird perched on the chain-link fence and chirped, his song wafting across the front yard and through the open window to where Jerry Grimsley sat in a tweed recliner.

“Is that a robin?” asked his sister, Vickie Chevrette.

Grimsley shrugged.

Last year, the harbinger of spring would have symbolized another winter survived in the woods. Last week, the bird was simply a mellifluous visitor in the yard Grimsley shares with Chevrette and John Worthington.

In early January, the three packed their tents, tarps, sleeping bags, kerosene heaters and portable generators and moved from the woods near Massaponax, in Spotsylvania, to a small home in the same county.
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Behind bars, college is back in session in some Washington prisons

Privately funded college classes are starting to creep back into state prisons after being absent for nearly two decades. Supporters say they reduce the recidivism rate and can save money on re-incarceration.

By Katherine Long

Seattle Times higher education reporter

Every week, they slide books through the metal detectors — novels by Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen, copies of the U.S. Constitution, texts on sociology, psychology and comparative religion.

Then dozens of professors and instructors from Washington’s public and private colleges surrender their driver’s licenses and car keys to an armed guard, walk through the detector themselves and pass through a perimeter fence topped by coils of gleaming razor wire.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Agency to add transition home in Fredericksburg

AMY FLOWERS UMBLE, The Free Lance-Star Richmond Times-Dispatch

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The little boy tugged gently on Kathy Anderson’s sleeve. In the middle of a party, Anderson didn’t notice at first.

The 5-year-old tugged again, and Anderson leaned down to talk with him.

“This house is everything I ever wanted,” he said.

Anderson directs Empowerhouse, an agency that helps families fleeing abusive situations. And the boy’s simple statement validated months of work raising money and renovating the house that became the agency’s first transition home.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Maine State Prison Graduation Video

November 4, 2013
Click  Here to see a short video, just under 5 minutes, of the highlights of the Maine State Prison graduation.  Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation fully funds this college degree program.  Doris believes in the power of education to reduce or eliminate recidivism, and to open up new life choices to these graduates.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Home Offers a Break for Parents

October 8th, 2013, 5:16 pm, BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

For parents of adult children with disabilities, weddings and vacations often require strategic planning similar to invading Normandy.

When your child is full-grown but requires ’round-the-clock care, you can’t just call the teenager down the street when you need to get away. And if taking a scheduled vacation is tricky, an emergency is formidable. Parents live in fear of a sudden illness, a surgery or a death in the family.

But a new respite home in Stafford County could ease some of that burden, providing parents with a place for their adult children to stay when caregivers need a break for any reason. Read More