Williamsport, Pa. -- A new male community corrections center is opening on Edwin Street in Williamsport, with a well-supported leader at its helm.
Transitional Living Centers' facility will have the capacity to work with 24 men transitioning from state correctional institutions back into the community with the help of a Facility Director, Case Manager, and Resident Advisors. The facility is projected to open October 1.
"We are very thrilled to announce the hiring of our Facility Director, Cleveland Way," TLC said in a Facebook post. "Cleveland Way, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has a wife of 20 years, five children of their own, and three they adopted."
Reaction to the announcement on Facebook was overwhelmingly positive, with one message of support after another.
Way began his service to Williamsport residents in 2000 with PA Treatment & Healing counseling service, concluding his fourteen-year service as Regional Director. He holds a bachelor's degree in Textile Technology from Philadelphia University. He also received two master's degrees from Liberty University: Master of Arts in Religion and Master of Divinity with a concentration in Pastoral Counseling. He looks to pursue a Doctorate soon.
Upon graduating from Liberty University, Way planted Greater Life Bible Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He served as the Senior Pastor for five years before serving as Shephard of Cogan House Community Church in Trout Run, Pennsylvania, where he continues to do.
In 2016 he began working as the Social Service Director of the American Rescue Workers, responding to the community's needs, distributing over 100,000 lbs. of food to families in need while providing counseling and preventative services.
In 2018 he took on a role as Shelter Director of the American Rescue Workers in Williamsport, where he developed the "Fresh Start" program. This program taught individuals who find themselves homeless to be self-sufficient through job skills, work ethic, and support. They build confidence in themselves by getting a job, saving money, and finally obtaining housing while being surrounded by resources that will help them maintain self-sufficiency.
An important task for Way in the first year will be to learn the policy and procedures of the Department of Corrections and work to develop and enhance the lives of all who enter the Transitional Living Center, "Bethesda House."
"With the opening of a men’s center TLC can provide them with 24 hour supervision, routine/structure, case management, referrals for treatment, assistance with employment, housing, and budgeting," said TLC Executive Director Nicole Miller. "TLC has operated a women’s center since 1987 with success (82% success rate) and we are excited to be able to extend our work with males."
Working with Miller, the board, and community members to bridge the gap in transitional housing and employment for re-entrants from incarceration and life, Way said the goal is to develop productive citizens who, in return, be compelled to help others follow in their footsteps of change.