The CentrePeace Mission
“We actively work toward restoring lives for individuals who have been incarcerated while bringing peace and healing to all affected by crime. The ultimate goal of CentrePeace is to enable formerly incarcerated individuals to achieve successful reentry to their communities, prepared to work, and be engaged as productive citizens.”
We want individuals to come out of their incarceration stronger than they went in. CentrePeace views this time as an opportunity for a reset in their lives. We accomplish this by working shoulder to shoulder with currently incarcerated individuals — known as trainees — in a number of ways at our store in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
All trainees learn the basics of moving and caring for used furniture. They can then expand their skills by learning to repair and restore furniture and other household goods. Sometimes, our trainees will take a piece of used furniture and turn it into something entirely new, empowering them to earn money after their incarceration is over.
By working alongside our trainees, they can learn the value of nonviolent resolution and respectful communication. This can only happen if we treat our trainees with respect and gratitude. Our work is rooted in hope and optimism that what we’re doing is going to make a difference.
CentrePeace closed our upholstery shop in August 2021. In January 2022 we opened a wood refinishing shop. In our refinishing shop we teach our trainees how to take wood furniture and upcycle, recycle, or refinish items. This helps limit the amount of usable goods that end up in our landfills.
Our mission also supports the families of incarcerated individuals. The legal system can be intimidating and hard to learn. Our friends and family support group is a way to connect with others who are in similar circumstances.
CentrePeace also offers ways for the public and volunteers to support our mission or directly support incarcerated individuals. Our Prayer Mates program allows for a volunteer to aid in the spiritual growth of an incarcerated individual at the Centre County Correctional Facility through anonymous correspondence and prayer.