My Sister’s House announces fundraiser results and grant award

Original siding and windows are being removed and replaced at My Sister’s House.

Tried By Fire, Inc., a local nonprofit committed to assisting women newly released from prison who need a safe home while they transition back into the community, launched a new fundraiser for One Thousand One Hundreds on Feb. 1, with a goal to raise $100,000 by April 30, the last day of National Reentry Week.

“I am so very grateful to announce today that our special fundraiser has just passed the $50,000 mark for our One Thousand One Hundreds appeal,” said Bonita Simmons, executive director of Tried By Fire, Inc. “The support we have received from this community for the renovation of our donated 80 year-old home to create My Sister’s House, has truly been humbling and a series of special blessings. Although we may not have reached our goal of $100,000 in three months, this amount is certainly needed and most appreciated, and it is also a significant demonstration of the support we have received from so many individuals, businesses, and civic organizations for this important project.”

Coming during the same week as the end of this fundraiser is the announcement that Tried By Fire, Inc. has just been awarded a grant of $50,000 from the Anonymous Trust of Raleigh to be used for the renovation of My Sister’s House.

This private philanthropic foundation supports the strengthening of communities by improving the capacity to address critical issues and underserved populations.

“We are beyond grateful for this level of trust and support for our effort to offer safe and supportive shelter for post-incarcerated women at My Sister’s House,” Simmons said. “With this additional investment, we hope to complete our renovation work to allow for a dedication and opening by Thanksgiving.”

My Sister’s House, located at 524 Roundtree St. in New Bern, will be the first transitional home for post-incarcerated women in eastern North Carolina and will provide a safe and supportive shelter for up to 90 days for women to work toward rebuilding their confidence and skills as they access educational and employment opportunities for a productive and successful reentry to the community.

“An address is critical for women to take advantage of the various services and programs available for them to work toward stability and self-sufficiency with permanent housing and employment,” Simmons said. “Tried By Fire, Inc believes in the concept that a person is more than the worst thing they have ever done in their life. We believe in second chances.”

“America’s criminal justice system must offer meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation. After incarcerated individuals serve their time, they should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society. It benefits not just those individuals but all of society and it is the best strategy to reduce recidivism. During Second Chance Month, we lift up all those who, having made mistakes, are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions.”

Excerpted from A Proclamation on Second Chance Month from the White House, 2021