Gov. Kemp, Ag Comm. Gary Black supports local New Foundations Program
Published 9:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2021
Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black spoke in support of New Foundations Family Services, Inc (NFI) Southwest Georgia Men’s Transition program during their virtual gala Thursday evening. Other speakers included Dave Dahl entrepreneur and co-founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, TJ Hudson former Probate Judge and candidate for Ga. Secretary of State and many others. The gala can be viewed online at their website www.newfoundationsinc.com/2021-gala .
New Foundations Family Services, Inc is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that provides individual and family counseling. The fundraising efforts of the NFI 2021 Gala is to raise funds to provide a Men’s Transition House in Southwest Georgia that will give men and hand up, not a handout. The program will provide temporary housing, professional counseling, career skills development, life and social skills training along with healthy physical, spiritual and familial foundations for life.
New Foundations Family Services, Inc corporate office is location in Bainbridge. Founded by Dr. Sharon Sirmons Brown and Dewayne Brown, both experienced with leading nonprofits designed to help those in need. Sharon brings 15 years’ experience in working in her own counseling practice and mental health facilities. Dewayne, retired Army Special Forces, brings experience as CEO of a nonprofit, and counseling in a residential treatment facility. Both bring a passion to Southwest Georgia to help those who need compassion extended in a way that will facilitate them creating a stable foundation in life.
New Foundations serves 11 counties in South Georgia. The mission of NFI is to promote safe, thriving, and resilient rural communities in South Georgia by providing services through a holistic approach, which allows a balance between social, emotional, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, physical, financial, and environmental dimensions in the lives of youth, men and their families. Their focus is reaching the under-served families of the rural communities in South Georgia, through counseling, mentoring, and transition assistance, in a holistic manner that advances the family, spiritual, and patriotic fibers of our country.
New Foundations Family Services was originally founded as New Foundations Youth Center in 2018 by Dr. Sharon Sirmons. She saw a need in under-served families and did something about it with a vibrate after school youth program in Brooks county until COVID closed the schools. What she found through years of experience in private practice counseling, and in serving these kids and their families was the need for fathers in the kids’ lives; “Too many families are absent of fathers!” Her vision saw a program that assisted men of all ages through transition periods in their lives, be that coming out of incarceration, drug or alcohol treatment, divorce or between jobs, whatever transition men may be experiencing New Foundations will offer them a hand up, but not a handout. Mr. Brown stated “men are willing to move mountains if they saw a way to restore their dignity, their self-worth and be the kind of man that most men really desire to be, a God fearing spiritual leader, a family man that has the respect of his wife, children and community. A good patriotic citizen that is looked well upon by his extended family, peers and friends.” The three year, three phase program is designed to aid in the great need of helping men reenter society, their families, their homes, and communities as a leader with a renewed sense of responsibility, job skills, work ethic and a healthy dose of the fear of God. Dr. Sirmons Brown commented “too many American homes are without the husband and father, which is believed to be a root source for a breakdown of our society. With men back in the God-designed role of the families, our country and state can see a reduction of incarceration, recidivism, domestic violence, human trafficking, and many other crimes.”
Men in the NFI program will be assessed for career development allowing them to develop skills in work fields they choose and have an aptitude. Through a small farming program, crafting and creative skills the men will produce products for retail sale through the NFI agri-tourism outlet, “uniquely GEORGIA.” The NFI business model is designed to be self-sustainable once established. Through producing and retailing in the farmers market styled agri-tourism business the men will develop work ethic, accountability, business management, marketing skills, creative design, retail sales, agriculture/produce skills and much more. “Uniquely GEORGIA” will be a combined retail market of “Georgia Grown” fresh produce, hand made items to include canned preserves, soaps, wood crafts, hand made furniture etc. The farmers market and country store will sell only items grown or made in the state of Georgia. “Uniquely GEORGIA” will feature a café with freshly made sandwiches, small menu items, cakes, desserts and coffee. It is the intent for “uniquely GEORGIA” to be recognized as a Georgia Grown producer.
The greatest need according to Mr. Brown is housing for the men in the program; “We have men living in their cars but because they see hope in this program they are committed to succeeding. It is my hope that someone will be led to help with low cost or donated property. The need in Southwest Georgia is great and urgent.”
More information about New Foundations Family Services, Inc is available at their website www.newfoundationsinc.com and on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/NewFoundationsInc or by calling 229 412-3452. On the website is a list of other needed items.