We Stay Free, Inc., is a registered 5013c Charity, transition housing facility assisting incarcerated men and women after their release from prison, offering support and guidance while transitioning back into society.
We Stay Free, Inc., anticipates opening it’s first transitional housing property located in Pleasant View, Tennessee, approximately thirty minutes outside Nashville, Tennessee off Interstate 24 in early October of 2016.
Dr. Kate King, President of We Stay Free, Inc., has dedicated more than 25-years raising awareness to causes of victimization and recidivism in America’s society. President of the operation is Chris Berworth, also known for being a historian along with ex-law enforcement officer, who studied under King at Western Kentucky, will oversee the operation of the housing and rehabilitation of individuals seeking a second chance.
King purchased Map and Parcel Number 118 049.00 from Robert A. Macks, Jr., located at 7118 Highway 41-A in Pleasant View, Tennessee. The 2,510 square foot home sitting on the five-acre lot is currently being renovated by We Stay Free, Inc.
Tuesday, August 23, Pleasant View Building Commissioner Mark Goins couldn’t confirm the establishment of the transitional housing but stated he’d investigated the allegations of the property and found no visible evidence of anyone occupying or residing in the home or on the property.
The purchased property is divided between neighboring counties. Approximately 75% of the property is located in Robertson County and the remaining in the city limits of Pleasant View.
Issuance of permits and property taxes are under the provision of Robertson County, the primary jurisdiction to We Stay Free, Inc., posing a potentially complex situation for Pleasant View if any appeals or complaints are filed against the company. At this time, according to Goins, there haven’t been any official complaints filed or brought to the attention of the Pleasant View city officials.
State and federal laws allow individual municipalities, such as Pleasant View and Coopertown, to adopt provisions specifying locations to be zoned permissible for specified usages or operations of business.
The Pleasant View Zoning Ordinance currently doesn’t specify restrictions on residential properties used for, shelters and centers for rehabilitation or transitional housing. Properties used for such specified purposes are mandated by state law to be a minimum of 1000 feet from the proximity of playgrounds, ballparks, schools and daycares.
Elijah Truitt, representative answering the resource call line, stated We Stay Free, Inc., intends to reach out for support, hoping to be embraced by the community of Pleasant View. Truitt also stated the organization was considering having a member from Pleasant View to sit on We Stay Free Interview Board to help with the interview process, determining whether or not applicants should be chosen to reside at the transitional home and participate in the program.
Although this is the first housing facility We Stay Free, Inc., is working to establish, supporting individuals seeking rehabilitation, the chance to live free from prison, began in 2011 and has had much success.
ELIJAH TRUITT’S SECOND CHANCE
According to the success story on www.westayfree.com Elijah Truitt, six time convicted felon, desperately sought a different life after released from prison. He didn’t know where to turn or how to incorporate into a lifestyle different from his past until he met Dr. Kate King at Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility.
Elijah uncertain whether he could remain free of prison allowed Dr. King to help him develop the skills necessary to succeed at reentering life outside of prison walls, freedom, becoming a positive active member in society.
March 12 of 2015 was a significant day to Elijah, marked one year of freedom, the longest Elijah had been free from prison or any legal consequences since 1991.
Since his release in 2015 he has become a public speaker, actively supports non-profit organizations and fund raising. He has attended ITT Technical Institute, studied Electrical Engineering where he earned a spot on the Dean’s list and has successfully held employment.
Today Truitt has earned his degree, is employed and volunteers with We Stay Free, Inc., supporting and encouraging others, once like himself, that there are second chances at life after incarceration.
Additional success stories and information about We Stay Free, Inc., can be found at www.westayfree.com.
A version this article by same author is reported in the I-24 Exchange Newspaper, August 26, 2016, www.hotspotexchange.com.