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About Us

New Dawn Social Services (NDSS) is a faith based organization that focuses on men and women being released from the state, county, federal, and local penal facilities, and individuals being released from rehabilitation centers. We aim to improve outcomes associated with the transition to the community and remove barriers that make this process appear insurmountable. Our programming model is designed to extend wrap-around services which include an aftercare format and collaboration.


We provide training in financial literacy and career readiness which increases effective and proper integration into society. We aim to reduce recidivism and equip clients with leadership skills to assist them with gainful employment. We ensure that each client released from our program has a written plan and support system in place to assist them in staying clear of the criminal justice system or relapsing.

Executive Director

Years ago, the original vision of Dawn Transitional Center, was the brainchild of the late Dr. Mary L. Avery. Her passion was to serve those within the penal system and those being released. In November of 2017, the vision was recaptured as New Dawn Social Services by Mary, Wesley, Crystal, and Sharon.


Sharon A. Smith, the Executive Director for NDSS has worked with marginalized and underserved individuals for over 20 years. Serving at Hope Church as their Urban Director for eight years and with Oasis of Hope for two years.

Prior to serving at Hope Church, she was the Executive Assistant for Urban Youth Initiative. She currently teaches Personal Finance at The Soulsville Charter School. In addition to teaching, she serves with her husband at Pillow Street CME church where he is the senior pastor.

Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and a Master of Arts in Leadership. In her rare moments of spare time, you may find her reading, enjoying a movie or spending quality time with family including their fur baby, Bella. Sharon is married to Wesley D. Smith, they are a blended family with 8 children and 14 grandchildren.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"

M. Gandhi

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