Our SPONSORS Rock!

We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all of our open house sponsors! 

Programs That Matter

Check out our community based programs!
Want to help make a difference in our community? We are pleased to announce that we are currently able to accept donations through PayPal! To get started and make your donation today please use the PayPal donation button on the right!

Our Mission

Motivation + Knowledge + Hope = Lasting Life Changes

We are inspired by our clients who have accepted the second chances that life has offered them by making changes to improve their lives. We are passionate about sharing our healthy life formula and strategies with our future clients. If we keep people out of jails, institutions, group homes and keep them in their community as they achieve their goals, then we have prevailed.

We encourage you to browse our site and see what The SPARC Foundation is all about. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesistate to contact us by phone, email, or by using our contact form.

Programs That Matter

Below are a list of our current and upcoming programs. Click on each program to learn more.

Batterers Intervention & Strong Fathers

<h2>Batterers Intervention & Strong Fathers Program</h2>
The Batterer Intervention Program (BIP)consists of an intake assessment and 26 weeks of abuser education in a group setting for offenders of domestic violence. Enrollment is continuous, so new members do not have to wait to join a group. Case management is integrated into the program to assist participants with other needs or obstacles to successful completion. Attendance at all 26 group sessions and successful completion of the program can result in a refund of half of the fees paid by eligible participants. Eligible participants must live in Buncombe County and / or be involved with the Buncombe County Courts, DSS or Buncombe County Probation. The SPARC Network BIP uses the Emerge Abuser Education Group curriculum. The nation’s first batterer intervention program, Emerge philosophy about battering behavior focuses on battering, is not just physical violence, but a range of behaviors that often include physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and economic abuse. BIP curriculum also centers around domestic violence occurring within a social context of dominance in social, familial, institutional and economic interactions and the fact that battering is learned behavior. SPARC also offers Strong Fathers a free 20-week strengths-based educational program group for fathers who have engaged in domestic violence or are at-risk of doing so. Weekly meetings last 2.5 hours and include a meal, a check-in with each participant and discussion of the week’s topic. The Strong Fathers program is not a replacement for a traditional Batterer Intervention Program (BIP) where ongoing abuse and victim safety are concerns. If a potential Strong Fathers participant is engaging in ongoing abuse and may be a danger to his partner or family, a referral to a Batterer Intervention Program should be made first. Participants in the Strong Fathers program will find that it’s very different from other programs for men who’ve been involved in domestic violence. Strong Fathers recognizes that participants’ behavior in relationships is heavily influenced by their past, particularly the experiences they had when they were children. Rather than feeling shamed, blamed, and judged, the participants in the Strong Fathers program feel welcomed, understood, and encouraged as they make changes in their behavior that benefit themselves and their families. Referrals can be made through our website or by calling The SPARC Network at 828-785-4100. Administrative staff will document the referral and assist with setting an appointment for the initial intake meeting.

Monday
A New Way: Women’s Group 2-3:30

Tuesday
A New Way: Men’s Group pt 1 6-7:30
A New Way: Men’s Group pt2 7:45-915

Wednesday
A New Way: Men’s Group 12-1:30
Strong Fathers 5:30-8 (July 13-Nov 30)

Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

Changing Together

<h2>Changing Together</h2>
What is Focused Deterrence? Under the direction of Changing Together (CT), the Asheville and Buncombe Violent Crime Initiative (ABVCI) implements Focused Deterrence in Buncombe County. This process begins with our partners in local law enforcement, parole and probation, and the District Attorney, analyzing crime data in order to assemble a roster of individuals that have had a felony conviction or arrest for violent crime. In Asheville and Buncombe County, the majority of violent crime including murders, Domestic Violence, etc. is committed by a select few individuals. In 2005, 80 % of murders in Asheville City Limits were committed by 7 prosecuted individuals– over 30 individuals killed by 12 offenders—or less than 7% of Asheville’s total population. If, as the 2005 Department of Justice statistics illustrate, a small number of perpetrators within Buncombe commit a disproportionately large amount of the serious violent crime in the county, how can focusing in on these individuals reduce and prevent violent crime in our area? It was this question that brought together a community collaborative of community members, faith leaders, law enforcement and human service agencies in 2011 in Buncombe County. The collation, known as Asheville-Buncombe Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) applies the principles of Focused Deterrence, a violence reduction strategy developed by David Kennedy of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in order to reduce recidivism rates of violent crimes by the few select individuals most responsible for their occurrence. These offenders are invited to a Call-In where VCI participants complete a needs assessment and listen to a specific message from a panel of community members, clergy, law enforcement and others discuss the main message of focused deterrence to the invited individuals: “We care about you, we value you as individuals but we do not accept the dangerous things you are doing and we want you to stop.” Participants are then asked to never commit a violent trigger crime again and are introduced to Changing Together, the Life-Skills programs that Changing Together offers and Changing Together staff including dedicated case managers. The application of focused deterrence has resulted in impressive drops in violent crime and recidivism rates of a variety of violent crime in cities across the country. Ceasefire, the strategy of focused deterrence piloted in Cincinatti, Ohio, resulted in a 24% drop in homicides from their first Call-In in 2007 from the previous year. 1 In Asheville and Buncombe County, our notified offenders have had an 82% success rate. As in 82% of the folks that have been called in have not committed another violent crime since. In addition to targeting individuals who have committed specific violent crimes Changing Together and the VCI also houses a Domestic Violence Focused Deterrence strategy to make sure that offenders who are convicted of domestic violence crimes and placed on probation are receiving instruction and education about breaking cycles of violence within themselves and their family systems. We held our first domestic violence call-in in February and 19 out of 20 invited offenders attended.
<h3>Case Management</h3>
Changing Together offers case management services critical to individuals who seek to change their criminal or destructive behavior patterns, including connecting them to tangible resources and access to life skills. <br data-brackets-id=”10356″ />Since our first Call-In January 20th, 2011, Changing Together has received resource needs information from 195 notified offenders. Assessments reviewed clients’ housing, educational, health care and criminal justice situations, as well as the self-reported needs clients believed they required in order to thrive. These assessments not only allow for a better understanding of the needs of individuals who commit violent crime, they also enable criminal justice professionals to gain a better understanding of the context of criminal activities nationwide. From the information gathered, Changing Together found that many of our clients are lacking basic life skills. Though our case management services that are specific to the individuals we serve, we build relevant local support for our clients specific to our area and their need. Some of the assistance we have provided to clients in the past include:
Navigation of public services and application guidance
Access to Employment
Assistance with Education goals
Identification of Community Networks
Resolution for transportation needs

Our Case Management services focus on building on our clients’ strengths, increasing their situational stability and improving the individuals’ cognitive decision-making skills so that individuals become productive citizens in our community, engaged parents and partners.
<h2>Focused Deterrence Community Partners</h2>
<h3>Government</h3>
Asheville Police Department
Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office
Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office
County of Buncombe
City of Asheville
Governor’s Crime Commission
NC Department of Public Safety – Community Corrections, 28th District
US Attorney’s Office, Western District of NC
<h3>Community Service</h3>
A-B Tech Community College (Continuing Education)
Addiction, Recovery, Prevention (ARP)
Buncombe County Department of Social Services (DSS)
Buncombe County Public Health Foundation, Inc.
Caring For Children
Ducker Road Community Involvement Council (DRCIC)
Housing Authority of the City of Asheville
Goodwill Industries of NC, Inc., Workforce Development
OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling
Partnership for Substance-Free Youth
People Valuing Advancement
Southside Community Advisory Board
United Way’s 211
ABCCM
Asheville City Schools Foundation
Asheville Design Center
Burton Street Community Association
East End Neighborhood Association
Eblen Charities
Green Opportunities – GO!
Latino Steering Committee
Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice (WCCJ)
West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN)
Women’s Wellbeing & Development Foundation

Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

Creative Contracting

<h2>Creative Contracting</h2>
Many of the services you see listed on this website were designed specifically for our clients. The Human Services field presents with many historical challenges. When you have pain points in your agency that you are unable to solve through traditional systems/structures, we would like to talk to you about creating innovative solutions that will meet your needs.
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

DSS Liaison

<h2>DSS Liaison</h2>
The DSS Liaison position was developed to support Henderson County Department of Social Services (HCDSS) with the intricate details and nuances of the mental health care system. By stationing SPARC staff within the halls of HCDSS, social workers have immediate access to mental health referrals, scheduling support, residential placement support, consultation and more. Our staff is conditioned in expecting changes in the mental health care system, strategizing solutions for social workers and families and supporting in the implementation of tasks. Through this collaboration, social workers are able to focus on child safety with the knowledge that mental health answers and support are a mere step away.</br>
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

Family Centered Treatment (FCT)

<h2>Family Centered Treatment (FCT)</h2>
Family Centered Treatment (FCT) Family Centered Treatment® (FCT) is an evidence-based practice (EBP) that is currently being provided in various states. FCT has been gradually formalized into a model of home-based treatment that lowers rates of out of home placements. It has been refined based on research, experience and evidence of effectiveness derived from practice. The foundations of the model are from eco-structural family therapy (Minuchin) and emotionally focused therapy (Johnson). FCT is a systemic family systems change model. The third phase of treatment, valuing changes (through use of paradoxical and experiential exercises), seeks to confirm and capitalize on internal changes within the family so that the family is not dependent on the therapist once services terminate. Services are intensive with a minimum of 10 hours per month provided to the family. FCT incorporates coordination with other systems, such as MCO, DSS and DJJ as well as 24/7/365 Crisis Intervention. By contracting directly with Departments of Health and Human Services, the entire family system is the “identified client” and is involved in the treatment process. Additionally, social workers are given immediate access to the service, leadership is able to prioritize referrals and social workers receive training in FCT in order to best maximize the service for positive outcomes. This service is targeted towards: 1. Families experiencing family dysfunction which has led to DSS involvement. 2. Families who have a child who is at risk of residential care, such as foster care or group homes. 3. Families who have a child in residential care with a plan of reunification. 4. Families who have a child who has been hospitalized with little prior treatment and where the hospital is recommending residential services. 5. Families who have extensive histories of DSS involvement or utilizing enhanced mental health services without successful outcomes.
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

Manna Pop-Up Coordinator

<h2>Manna Pop-Up Coordinator</h2>
SPARC staff coordinates delivery from our local food bank to low income communities to increase food safety for residents in those communities. By bringing food to the community, individuals without transportation are able to access food. Free food from the food bank includes bread, pastries, vegetables and fruits. Recent fundraising efforts by the county have added meats to the table. There are 11 sites in Buncombe County where these pop ups take place; 3 sites have twice monthly pop ups each while 8 sites have 1 monthly pop up each. To be eligible to receive food, residents must show proof that they qualify for food stamps. Data indicates that in the quarter of April 2016-June 2016, 68,727 pounds of food were provided to eligible residents through these pop ups. On average, about 40 families (with an average of 2 minor children in the home) are provided food per site. Across all pop up sites for one month, that averages to 560 families served. The Pop Up Coordinator is currently reviewing data to increase the amount of sites served.</br>
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

Neutral Facilitation

<h2>Neutral Facilitation</h2>
SPARC is a neutral third-party facilitator for Child and Family Teams for Buncombe County Department of Social Services and parents involved with Child Protective Services. Child and Family Teams are meant to support parents in meeting case plan goals, design strategies to meet goals and document progress. SPARC facilitators are trained in required state trainings and have the ability to work in a team setting, understand group dynamics, facilitate interpersonal communication, collaborative problem solving and planning, consensus building and conflict resolution. Referrals come directly from Social Workers in Investigations, In Home and Foster Care Departments. Facilitators support not only by facilitating meetings, but also by planning for the meeting through coordination of all invited members, setting expectations for the meeting and documenting the outcomes of the meeting.</br>
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

PERCS Program

<h2>PERCS Program</h2>
SPARC PERCS Program is a Proactive Crisis Response and Stabilization services system. PERCS provides youth and their caregivers with short-term flexible service coordination to assist in stabilizing youth in their home communities. PERCS acts as a transition option for youth who have a diagnosed mental health condition and continue to display behavioral and emotional challenges which necessitates specialized intervention and coordination to achieve and/or maintain optimal functioning and prevent continued behavioral escalation. In collaboration with Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, this service is available in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties.
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

Visitation

<h2>Visitation</h2>
When families are court ordered to have supervised visitation with their children in the custody of the Department of Social Services in Buncombe County, SPARC provides a trained professional to observe visits, ensure safety of children in the visits, offer coaching and parenting tips to parents, document the visit and report back to Social Workers. Some visits are multiple hours in length. By collaborating with SPARC for this service, Social Workers are able to focus on other areas of their work while also having the detailed information on visits.</br>
Want to learn more about this program? You can contact us directly at <a href=”https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org” target=”_blank”>jlatek@thesparcfoundation.org</a>

SPARC Staffing Services

Board of Directors

Our board members are dedicated to helping build a healthier community.

 
Jackie Latek

Jackie Latek

Executive Director

Read Full Bio
Jackie Latek has been providing services to children and families in some form or fashion over her 20-year career in human services. Starting out as a group home counselor for abused/neglected or runaway teens was her first foray into the field and developed her understanding of the challenges faced by children and families. As COO of Families Together, Jackie was responsible for overseeing programmatic and financial aspects of a wide array of mental health services provided to children and adults across nine counties in Western North Carolina. As the SPARC Foundation’s Executive Director, Jackie intends to continue to build quality programming for low-income and underserved populations through collaboration and creativity.
Angela Pittman

Angela Pittman

Chairman

 
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Angela Pittman has served in multiple executive leadership positions within Health and Human Services organizations, both locally and nationally. Angela brings over 25 years’ experience in innovative programming including child welfare, adult services, mental health, leadership and organizational climate and workforce development. organizational climate and workforce development. Angela holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Western Carolina University and a Master of Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill, with a concentration in organizational leadership and management.
Marlo Smith

Marlo Smith

Secretary

 
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My 46 years of clinical practice has spanned services in child protection, foster care and adoptions, vocational rehabilitation and, for the last 20 of these years, as a practitioner, trainer and supervisor of Family Centered Treatment. I am proud to represent the SPARC FOUNDATION—a value based human services agency constantly striving to uphold the highest ethical and clinical practices in the field.
Brent Bailey

Brent Bailey

Board Member

 
Read Full Bio
Brent Bailey is a native of North Carolina. Beginning at age 16, Brent started to experiment with drugs and quickly fell into the trap of drug addiction. Although he married in 1996, and held two jobs, Brent’s drug use continued, eventually becoming so costly that he turned to selling drugs to support his addiction and associated lifestyle. Brent’s life of crime caught up with him in 1999 when he was convicted of conspiracy to traffic narcotics and sent to prison. It was during this period of incarceration that Brent realized he wanted something different for his life, and he began the process of turning his potential into productivity. One of the biggest steps toward change Brent took while incarcerated was he began to participate in various programs that were conducted by volunteers. It was through many of these programs that his faith grew and confidence in his abilities were reaffirmed. As a result of these programs Brent truly began to believe that he had a future with a purpose. These programs provided invaluable information in many different areas from employment to character building. Through many of the volunteers Brent learned how to view the world through a different “lens,” and how to avoid the dangers of being unprepared to re-enter society, and regardless of his past, he still had something to give the world. After his release, Brent was assisted by Project Re-entry and secured a Pell Grant to further his education. He found employment in two different jobs that sustained him while he sought his future career. Brent also decided to give back to the community by going to community recreation centers and talking to kids about the importance of making good decisions. As a result of these proactive steps, Brent was later hired by a youth organization in Winston-Salem to help manage their emergency shelter for teenagers. Today, 14 years after his first involvement with Project Re-entry and his release from prison, Brent has come full circle. In 2010, he was hired by Goodwill to head up a new Project Re-entry program site in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He then, subsequently relocated to Buncombe County and continued working for Goodwill and Project Re-entry in 2013. In 2015, Brent was hired by Buncombe County to be the Re-entry Coordinator for the local Re-entry Council. Brent also travels around the state speaking to communities sharing his journey of inspiration, encouragement and hope that there is life, and success, after prison.
Jody Stevenson

Jody Stevenson

Treasurer

 
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Jody has been a teacher, curriculum developer, program manager and advisor. His passion is developing engagement opportunities using creative methods that lead to stronger networks and in turn help stimulate opportunities for all those seeking employment in the community. He believes that every person has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.
Veronica Edwards

Veronica Edwards

Board Member

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Veronica has over 12 years of experience in Accounting and Bookkeeping. Veronica is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant and QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor. A graduate of University of North Carolina Charlotte earning a Bachelors of Science in Accounting as well as earning a Masters of Accounting from Georgia Southern University. Prior to opening Balanced Virtually Veronica was employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Newell Rubbermaid, and Milwaukee Electric Tool in various roles that provided experience in financial reporting, forecasting, budgeting, auditing, SOX (Sarbanes Oxley Act) compliance, and month end close. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and event planning.

Meet The Team

Our team members are the heart and soul of the SPARC Foundation

 
Tiffany Bell, LPC

Tiffany Bell, LPC

BIP Program Director

 
Carolyn Bowman

Carolyn Bowman

Family Finding Specialist

 
Nanci Farmer

Nanci Farmer

Office Manager

 
Lucia Daugherty

Lucia Daugherty

Civil Rights Specialist

 
Cori Search

Cori Search

Adult Daycare Services

 
YOUR NAME HERE

YOUR NAME HERE

Current Job Openings
Kim Marmon-Saxe

Kim Marmon-Saxe

MARC Grant Coordinator

 
Sam Martin

Sam Martin

Visitation Specialist

 
Sherrae Lachhu

Sherrae Lachhu

PERCS Program

 
Missy Reed

Missy Reed

Changing Together Program Director

 
Lisa Condrey

Lisa Condrey

Visitation Coach

 
Paul Schultz

Paul Schultz

Changing Together Case Manager

 
Robert Simmons

Robert Simmons

Manna Pop-Up Coordinator

 
Norque Smith

Norque Smith

FCT Clinician

 
Tim Splain

Tim Splain

Changing Together & BIP Manager

 
Jeff Whisenant

Jeff Whisenant

FCT Clinician

 
Yashika Smith

Yashika Smith

Strong Fathers Facilitator

 
Angie Hill

Angie Hill

Visitation Services

 
Frank Dooley

Frank Dooley

Fundraising Coordinator

 
Kim Goodspeed

Kim Goodspeed

Social Worker I

 
Shasta Staten

Shasta Staten

PERCS Program

 

About Us

SPARC Foundation was created after years of providing Medicaid funded services to children and adults in Western North Carolina. Since 2014, we have collaborated closely with local law enforcement, the Attorney Generals office, Departments of Health and Human Services, schools, mental health and substance abuse providers and local non-profits in order to create a safer community and healthier families. Through evidence-based models and proven strategies, we seek to fill gaps in the community where the underserved often fall through. We are passionate about meeting the needs of the community using innovative ideas to overcome traditional problems. 

The leadership of SPARC Foundation is equally passionate about providing a positive working culture that is supportive to staff, void of negativity, focused on solutions. Our six values are the backbone of how we function together. Our team environment ensures support and accountability which promotes quality outcomes and individual professional development. By utilizing consensus decision making, we engage all staff in agency decisions. This culture promotes individual and team achievement, allows for the recruitment of high quality staff and reduces staff turnover. We prefer to promote from within to reward high values staff and build a culture that walks its talk. The community we serve is diverse in race, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, income. And we believe that diversity is the balance in groups that offers varying perspectives to build comprehensive and successful ideas. Therefore, we desire to hire a workforce that is diverse and passionate and ready to roll up their sleeves on behalf of our community.

Want A Career With Us?

Check our our job board to see what positions we are currently hiring for!

The SPARC Foundation

The SPARC Foundation

225 East Chestnut Street, Suite 100

Asheville, NC 28001

828.552.3771

Fax Number: 828-319-2812

We Want To Hear From You!