Safer Communities Ministry (formerly named Covenant Prison Ministry) was founded in 1986 by Rev. Alfred Lewis Jr. Shortly after establishment, the ministry began conducting weekend New Life Crusade Events in prisons and youth detention centers in North and South Carolina. In 1997, the Life Skills Program was established in the Union County Jail for male inmates. This seven week program assists inmates in transitioning back into the community upon release from jail.
In 2006, the ministry initiated the Second Chance RE–Entry Network (SCREEN) program. SCREEN became a formal network of partners representing churches, government agencies, non-profits, and individuals wanting to better assist ex-offenders with their transition back into the community. It was in 2008 that Covenant Prison Ministry officially became Safer Communities Ministry (SCM).
Over the years, SCM witnessed how influential the Life Skills program was for inmates within the Union County Jail and reduced the rate of recidivism. Therefore in 2010, the program was extended to incorporate female inmates. SCM has had great success in reaching inmates, ex-offenders, addicts, and their families and connecting them to resources that produce transformed lives. In 2015, Safer Communities began developing an outreach program to reach children who have a parent incarcerated and/or addicted to drugs by hosting an annual Christmas Celebration where families were ministered to as we shared the gospel.
In January of 2020, we provided life skills to the teens incarcerated in the Union County Jail which then developed into an full time program that is designed to meet the emotional, social, academic, and spiritual needs for the children of our clients that are impacted by parental incarceration/addiction.
We have expanded our children’s program by hiring a trauma trained counselor and offering parenting support that is evidence based and effective to meet their unique challenges. Children and caregivers meet weekly by appointment and our children are growing strong and resilient while their caregivers are strengthened with resolve.
We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for this ministry as we endeavor to serve the people of Union and Stanly counties from the Inside Out.