Tried By Fire, Inc. invites women, and supportive men, to participate in a special “Make A Difference Day” on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at 524 Roundtree Street in New Bern.

The morning will be focused on clearing out debris and overgrown vegetation at the future site of “My Sister’s House.”

My Sister’s House will provide affordable and supportive transitional housing for up to six women coming out of prison. A safe, decent and affordable home is essential for human survival and dignity. Upon release from prison, women have identified housing as one of their most urgent needs to meet the challenges of re-entry into the community. Significant barriers exist for these mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, etc. due to stigmatization and policies barring them from most federal housing assistance programs.

Transitional housing exist in the area for men returning to the community from prison, but there are no such facilities for women within Craven County or the seven surrounding counties of Pamlico, Carteret, Lenoir, Jones, Onslow, Pitt and Green.

“We are very excited to begin working on the renovations to this property in the Duffyfield community,” said Bonita Simmons, executive drector of Tried By Fire, Inc.  “We want to make a difference with a visible statement that we are committed to improving this two-story home and we look forward to being part of this neighborhood,” said Simmons.

Volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and bring work gloves. Rakes and brush trimmers are also recommended.  Renovation of the two-story home, built in 1941, will begin within the next few months. Licensed contractors will be hired to replace the roof, electric, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

The bulk of the interior and exterior repairs will, however, be completed by volunteers under the supervision of staff from Habitat for Humanity of Craven County.

“Once actual repair work can begin, our ‘Sisters Helping Sisters’ campaign will recruit volunteers to make this home a reality for post-incarcerated women,” Simmons said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the volunteer coordinator at deedradurocher@gmail.com or 252-670-1907. For more information or to make financial or in-kind donations is asked to contact Bonita Simmons at triedbyfire1@yahoo.com or 252-637-2339.

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