In 2008, Tanya Jisa was profoundly struck and saddened by the increasing rates of recidivism for women leaving prison in North Carolina. As her understanding of the complex issues of incarceration deepened through her social work and relationships with women that have been formerly incarcerated, the ideas of a social enterprise and residential program began to take shape.
The Land Acquisition
In 2014, Felix Drennen donated his 11 acres of farmland to Benevolence Farm. Felix was looking for a recipient that would make use of the land for either sustainable agriculture or conduct a social service mission; it was in the favor of Benevolence that our mission intended to do both! His realtor Frank Mellon, connected Felix and founder, Tanya Jisa, knowing that this would be a mutually beneficial partnership.
The First Resident
After years of thoughtful program development and land cultivation, the community and staff of Benevolence Farm were anxious to receive the first resident at the farm. The organization welcomed Benevolence Farm’s first resident on December 13th, 2016.
Over 45 women have since called Benevolence Farm home.
In 2022, the Rural Justice Collaborative named Benevolence Farm one of nine innovation sites across the country.