This project will provide a home and community for five women leaving prison in 2016 in North Carolina that are seeking second chances. Benevolence Farm seeks to empower women through stable housing and gainful employment in an innovative social-enterprise based program based on a 13-acre working farm where they will grow food, nourish self and foster community.
2,744 women were released from NC prisons in 2015. Of those, 2/3 will be re-arrested and 1/2 will be re-incarcerated within 2 years. Two of the biggest factors in determining a woman's success post-incarceration are her access to safe housing and employment, but research has shown that a criminal conviction becomes a serious barrier to success in achieving these milestones. There is a clear need for programs for women in these crucial areas as they seek to become productive members of society.
Stable housing and gainful employment are critical for the successful transition of women returning from prison. Benevolence Farm seeks to fulfill this crucial need in North Carolina through an innovative social-enterprise based program. Residents will live and work on a 13-acre farm for up to two years and develop valuable, easily transferable employment skills by growing their own food and selling produce through markets and wholesale accounts with area restaurants and grocery cooperatives.
Our vision is that the women at Benevolence Farm will not only be transforming their personal situation, but that their success will empower them to support hundreds of other formerly incarcerated women on the local and state level. In addition to providing an alternative to mass incarceration, we also hope to inspire health and healing of all women by helping to build a more sustainable food system throughout North Carolina.