Monthly Newsletters2020-06-26T21:46:33+05:30

Here is where our monthly newsletters are posted every month! These are great for updates on what’s going on with STSG and our partnerships.

Volumn 1 | Issue 3


Straight Talk Support Group Newsletter

“No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.”
-Marian Anderson

Here’s what we’ve been up to this month!

Haircuts & Gardening

This has been a pretty exciting month at STSG! First off, we had a barber, Mr. Alex Brown (@definedlinesrdu) come to the house to give the guys some long awaited haircuts! We were very happy to set this up because a lot of the guys have gone a long time since a haircut since COVID-19 shutdowns. The guys look great, many thanks to Mr. Alex Brown!

We also have been able to start our house garden that we are calling our Smarter Garden. A couple of the residents have been really motivated and have put in a lot of hard work to clear out a space for the garden. Barnes Supply Company (@barnessupplyco) donated 48 tomato plants. We are so appreciative of the variety they provided us with. We can’t wait to see how they turn out. A special thanks goes out to Southern States in Carrboro (@Southernstates) for donating all of the soil we needed, and more. Thanks to these two companies, our Smarter Garden was made possible.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” 
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Successful Transition!

One of our residents transitioned out of the house this month! After living at our transitional house for months, through working with STSG’s staff and Wellness Reentry he was able to find and secure a job. This month, he also was assisted by STSG and Wellness Reentry with his apartment search, and he was able to move in. We are so happy that this resident was able to have a smooth transition into independent living, and we wish him the absolute best.

Our Partner Shout-out: Samaritan Health Services

The community partnership we’d like to shout-out this month is Samaritan Health Services. Their vision is to be a leader in providing compassionate, comprehensive, and affordable health care, with excellence, to the underserved in our community. Through Samaritan Health Services our residents are able to receive the health care that they need. We really appreciate all the work this organization does, and we’d like to highlight the help that we receive through our contact person Elizabeth Brill. She is very communicative and responsive to our needs, and we thank her for that!

Volumn 1 | Issue 2


Straight Talk Support Group Newsletter

Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
– Ghandi

Here’s what we’ve been up to this month!


This month we are so happy to announce that we’ve had two donations given to our organization. First, we got a couple gallons of sanitizer that Doc Porter’s Distillery in Charlotte has been producing and giving out to nonprofits and other groups in need. We greatly appreciate the work that they are doing to help keep our NC communities safe! 

Secondly we now have five spin bikes along with all safety equipment for our residents to use for exercise, transportation and fun! The People’s Alliance Fund in Durham connected STSG with the Durham Bike Co-op to get this project going. The Durham Bike Co-op provided the bikes and all the accessories that came with. We are so thankful to these two organizations for making this project of ours possible!

I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom, and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful, and strong.
-Anna White

STSG’s Updates on COVID-19

We continue to search out and implement information on strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We began to check the temperatures of our residents three times a day. We continue to wear masks inside as well as outside. We are wiping surfaces down with bleach solutions everyday and we mop every other day. We have begun to reach out to other transitional housing to learn and compare what they are doing to protect their residents from COVID-19. We feel having a network of information at this time would be very helpful for all parties. STSG is also in the process of setting up one of the bedrooms as a quarantine room in case anyone does test positive for COVID-19. Speaking of testing, we are currently setting up appointments for our residents to get tested at the newly opened testing centers in Durham!

Our Partner: Shout-Out!

In these newsletters we’d like to take the opportunity to discuss the work done by one of our community partners each month. This month, we’d like to shout out the Formerly Incarcerated Transition (FIT) Program, sponsored by UNC Family Medicine. FIT connects those who have been previously incarcerated with chronic disease, mental illness, and/or substance use disorders with healthcare services and other reentry resources. Once released from prison, there are very few systems in place to connect those with chronic illnesses to health services. The connections individuals with severe mental illnesses receive are sporadic at best, and people who have substance use disorders are rarely connected with community treatment. We appreciate the partnership we have with FIT so that our residents can be connected to the healthcare that they need. 

Volume 1 | Issue 1


Straight Talk Support Group Newsletter

I’ve come to understand and to believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. I believe that for every person on the planet. I think if somebody tells a lie, they’re not just a liar. I think if somebody takes something that doesn’t belong to them, they’re not just a thief. I think even if you kill someone, you’re not just a killer. And because of that, there’s this basic human dignity that must be respected by law.
-Bryan Stevenson

We can’t just rail against crime. We must speak of the root problems – devastating family breakup, an insidious culture of violence that cheapens human life, skyrocketing prisoner recidivism rates that rob our communities of husbands and fathers – and recognize that there is a societal role in rehabilitation and restoration.
     -Frank Wolf

Welcome to our first newsletter! Here’s what we’ve been up to this month!


These past couple months have been like no other time before. We’ve had to change a lot and adjust to keep our residents and staff safe.  The health and safety of our residents is top priority. Currently, STSG is not accepting any new residents (except those referred to us by DPS) to prevent spread of coronavirus into the house. Residents have all been staying home from work and other activities, as we are all on a Stay-At-Home. As many of you might already be experiencing when staying home, some of our residents are experiencing anxiety and stress from the situation. NAMI did a mental health mediation with our residents. We had our Peer Support Specialists come in to talk with the residents about depression and coping strategies to use in this time before the Stay-At-Home Order. We had a house meeting led by Ms. Elmore describing the proper techniques everyone should be using to help prevent any possible spread. Now, our Peer Support Specialists are communicating with our residents electronically. Wellness Reentry is also providing classes to our residents through Zoom. We are trying to continue our services as best as possible. We are doing okay and hope you are too!


Message from our Executive Director

To all of our Wonderful Staff Members,

Thank you for your dedication during this time. You have all truly gone the extra mile to keep our residents and the rest of staff safe. We have some staff members working from home, and thank you for all that you are doing to keep Straight Talk afloat and functioning. I’d also like to thank our Peer Support Specialists for continuing to work so closely (figuratively of course) with out residents. They continue to stay connected with our residents, providing them with support during these stressful times. They continue to connect our residents with therapists and help the residents get the proper medications they need. All of our staff’s work is noticed and greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Ms. Bessie Elmore, Executive Director of Straight Talk Support Group

Special thanks to Ana Maria’s Catering for continue to deliver food to our residents during this time! We couldn’t do it without you!