Associate programs can be former incubator programs of the Noisette Foundation or existing non-profits that are considered critical to the six program areas of The Foundation and support the long term economic, social and environmental health of our communities and neighborhoods. Collaboration and partnership with a commitment to a sustainable future was a fundamental consideration for any program to become an associate of the Noisette Foundation.
His Way Ministries – His Way Ministry is a post-prison ministry. The mission is to respond effectively to the needs of ex-offenders, to help prevent crime, and to reduce recidivism. The core of the program consists of Christian men and women gathering together to offer effective solutions to the problems that ex-offenders face during reentry back into society. His Way addresses the spiritual, physical, and mental needs of the ex-offender. Why was His Way Ministries Needed? – Statistics indicate that over 60& of the inmates released or place on probation eventually are re-arrested for another offense within three years. It was discovered that many repeat offenders were not provided a pathway that deterred them from the use of criminal acts as a survival mechanism. In many cases, the ex-offenders, unable to adjust to life on the outside, commit more crime merely to return to prison. The difficulty facing ex-offenders are well documented and studied. There is a struggle to find jobs, housing, and other basic survival resources. Along with this setback, many face challenges with substance abuse, illiteracy, and lack of social and employment skills.
Lowcountry Local First – Lowcountry Local First is an alliance that educates the public on the importance of supporting the local economy and encourages businesses and consumers to be environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Lowcountry Local First is one of over 60 networks of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). LLF envisions a sustainable global economy as a network of Local LivingEconomies, building long-term economic empowerment and prosperity in communities through local business ownership, economic justice, cultural diversity, and a health natural environment. The public is educated on how to create a sustainable business, vote with dollars, buy and sell locally, support local agriculture. Lowcountry Local First was created to help promote sustainable agriculture, stimulate the local economy, and promote environmental responsibility and understanding. Lowcountry Local First works on implementing systems that help provide local produce while supporting area farmers and independent businesses to create wealth by engaging local people in the production, marketing, and consumption of goods, which translates into tax revenue needed to reinvest in these communities.
Metanoia – Metanoia began in 2002 as the SC Cooperative Baptist Fellowship decided to engage in an effort to combat child poverty in the state. After finding that the southern half of North Charleston had the highest concentration of child poverty in SC, they hired a married couple, Rev. Evelyn Oliveira and Rev. Bill Stanfield, to begin work in this area that would alleviate child poverty. Oliveira and Stanfield were ordained ministers who were also trained in some of the newer approaches to community development and organizing. After spending a year assessing the community and building local support, the couple began Metanoia with a board comprised of a majority of community residents. An initial focus was placed on the Chicora Cherokee community because there were significant issues and local leadership was receptive. Metanoia began by offering after school programming to a fairly small group of children, but has since gotten involved in housing and economic development as well. They now offer year round youth leadership development programming for students in the community. Metanoia is built off the research of John McKnight and Jodi Kretzman of Northwestern University who discovered that needs based community development efforts often do more to entrench dependence and perpetuate problems than build capacity in individuals to bring change. At Metanoia they seek to identify neighborhood assets (whether individuals, physical, or otherwise) and lure investment to those assets to help strengthen the neighborhood’s ability to improve itself. They believe that neighborhood residents are the true experts on their own problems. When their feedback is paired with researched best practices and sound back office management, they can create a powerful force for community transformation. A majority of Metanoia’s board members are local community residents and many of Metanoia’s staff live in the communities they serve (including founders Oliveira and Stanfield). Metanoia’s Mission Statement reads: Metanoia is a movement of people rooted in faith. We invest in neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing and generate economic development. We are pushing forward into new relationships with God and one another to create strong communities.
SC STRONG – SC STRONG stands for Sustaining, Teaching and Rebuilding Our New Generation. SC STRONG is a replication of a successful model for ex-offenders, substance abusers, and the homeless, known as Delancey Street. Delancey Street is a highly successful organization with decades of experience in this area. This model is considered to be the most successful, economical, and innovative approach to reduce recidivism while providing skills and resources needed.
Why was SC STRONG needed? South Carolina has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the country. The majority of those incarcerated are poor, unskilled, undereducated, and minority. In the state, over 13,000 men and women are released from prison every year and return to a society that has a job market generally hostile to ex-offenders, a scarcity of affordable housing, limited ability to travel, and often large debts associated with child support or restitution payments which if left unpaid can lead to a return behind bars. The effect of this cycle has played a vital role in the degradation of communities, high recidivism and welfare participation rates, and increased community instability.
What does SC STRONG do? SC STRONG residents have completed a major renovation of the exteriors and interiors of various quarters at the former Naval Base. The light construction and catering training enterprises prepare residents with construction and culinary arts trades skills. The skills have been linked to many successes in the participants lives as well as their communities. SC STRONG residents are actively participating not only in their own life changes but the improvement of the entire community. The new catering business with its fully equipped commercial catering truck is fully licensed and available for public events. Participants of SC STRONG commit to a minimum of two years. They are selected through various means. Some come as an alternative to incarceration through the cooperation of local judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. Others come directly after being released from prison as their chosen means for reentry. In every case however, admission is voluntary. SC STRONG offers training in light construction, furniture restoration, landscaping, and culinary arts/catering. These endeavors were undertaken by SC STRONG residents with technical assistance from a variety of educational institutions, governmental agencies, and restaurants.
The Sustainability Institute – The Sustainability Institute is one of the three original programs identified in the Noisette Community Master Plan essential to grow a sustainable culture long-term. The Noisette Company and the Noisette Foundation founded the Institute and provided the original operating capital and in-kind support of office space and financial management for the first five years. The Sustainability Institute (SI) is a nonprofit, 501c(3) organization that empowers South Carolinians to reduce their environmental footprint where they live and work by offering green building training and services and community education and outreach. SI brings the unique focus on the “built environment”, while many other environmental groups focus strictly on land and/or water conservation. SI builds the capacity of individuals and communities to meet the organization’s ultimate goal of transforming the places where people live and work into more sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy living environments. SI’s training, outreach and services are designed to increase the education and expertise both within the general public and within the South Carolina building industry to lead more people into the movement of creating communities that can be sustainable for future generations. SI celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2009, and the same year marked $1 Million Dollars in energy savings for its clients.
What does Sustainability Institute do? SI offers a range of services to help make South Carolina homes more energy efficient and to assist South Carolinians in life-long sustainability learning. SI conducts specialized trainings and workshops for homeowners and building professionals, training more than 6,000 people since 2003 and documenting more than $1 Million Dollars in associated energy savings. SI offers such services and tools as energy audits (certified Home Energy Ratings), sustainable consulting for both municipalities and small businesses, and the South Carolina Green Building Directory (SCGBD). SI also runs one of the southeast’s first ‘Green Jobs’ training programs, the Energy Conservation Corps (ECC). The ECC is a national AmeriCorps program that trains at-risk, young adults in green construction and weatherization skills and weatherizes more than 50 homes a year of low-income residents suffering from high utility bills. SI’s residential energy audit service helps homeowners understand their highest priorities and best investments for reducing energy expenditures in their home. Homes are performance tested using such equipment as a blower-door and duct-blaster, and improvement reports are produced for homeowners that detail recommendations and payback periods for various energy upgrades. SI has also developed partnerships with area affordable housing providers and nonprofits, and helps them manage the process of auditing their homes and measuring program outcomes. SI has provided consulting services for both the City of Charleston and City of North Charleston, and for local companies including Hagemeyer, Duvall Catering, Cantey Technology, and the Charleston Battery. The South Carolina Green Building Directory (SCGBD) is an easy to use, go-to and online resource for those interested in accessing tools for green building in South Carolina. The goal of the SCGBD is to provide users with information they need to find products and services that support green building practices for new construction or remodeling of residential and commercial facilities in South Carolina.
SI operates its offices out of two, cutting-edge ‘green’ facilities. The “GreenHouse Learning Center” in North Charleston is a sustainably remodeled 1940’s era home that is open to the public for tours and educational workshops. It is also the headquarters of the Energy Conservation Corps (ECC) program. The Sustainability Institute at “113 Calhoun Street” is in a historic Charleston single building originally built in the 1800’s that has been retrofitted with the latest hurricane protection and energy conservation technology available today. Located just one block east of Marion Square in downtown Charleston, the building is open to the public for tours by appointment.In 2009,
The Sustainability Institute was recognized with a National Award of Excellence of the Home Depot Foundation.
“Our partnership with the Noisette Foundation has been instrumental in building SI’s capacity to effectively run our Energy Conservation Corps program. Utilizing the Foundation’s existing relationship with CNCS AmeriCorps, “learning the ropes” of administrating an AmeriCorps site from an experienced entity, and partnering with the Foundation to reduce programmatic expenses through the use of shared office space and resources has all enabled the Institute to build a well-managed and innovative program that will serve as a model both locally and nationally.” – Sustainability Institute Director – Bryan Cordell