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Roanoke nonprofit receives $10,000 grant to expand

Transitional Options For Women helps former prisoners reenter society.

ROANOKE, Va. – Regina Tisdale was behind bars for most of her adult years. She credits Transitional Options For Women with saving her life. 

"At 55, it was time to step up to the plate and become a productive member of society," said Tisdale.

The Roanoke nonprofit gives women who are former prisoners a safe place to stay and structure that helps them reenter society and regain their independence. 

"Everybody pitching in mowing the grass, everybody pitching in cleaning up. It taught me how to be a part of something," said Tisdale. 

Now, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Royal Neighbors of America, a life insurance company, Transitional Options For Women is expanding with a new coffee shop, thrift store, and transitional affordable apartments, three additions to the west end to help more women. 

"I've seen women transform from not knowing what's going to happen in their life to having a plan and carrying out that plan and being successful," said Dorothy Owsley, founder and director of Transitional Options For Women. 

Transitional Options For Women has been Dorothy's dream for years. And Tuesday, fighting back tears, she accepted her $10,000 award.

"She just approaches this subject with so much compassion to offer someone who wants a second chance," said Amy Jones with Royal Neighbors of America. 

Dorothy was nominated for the grant by a local agent that works with Royal Neighbors Of America. Dorothy is hoping to have the coffee shop, thrift store and apartments open by the end of the year.