Central New York

Local Organization Seeks to Eliminate Poverty by Promoting Self-Sufficiency

Rivers says his struggles have allowed him to help empower other individuals to become self-sufficient to better both themselves and their families. (c) Riley Henderson 2017

Hear how Charles Rivers turned his struggles into successes that better himself and his community.

By: Riley Henderson, Syracuse N.Y. (NCC News) — It’s officially the season of giving, and for some giving means more than wrapping gifts for family and friends.  Charles Rivers is one of these people who spends his days giving back to his community.  Rivers, Director of Peace Incorporated’s Southside Family Resource Center, grew up in Syracuse and uses that as one of his motivations for giving back.

The other reason is his troubled past.  Rivers spent two decades in the prison system, serving three sentences and struggled with drug abuse in between.

“I used to think of it as a curse”, said Rivers.

Then, during his final prison sentence he was asked a question that changed his life for the better.  Rivers now uses the education and peer-mentoring experience he received at Auburn Correctional Facility to ensure that each member of his community has the resources necessary to feel empowered and to become self-sufficient.

Rivers and the rest of Peace Incorporated spend their days providing food, career development assistance, and clothing to those in need.