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Breaking the shackles of poverty, turning shackles into armor By Lauren Branch Correspondent

WARSAW — Shackle Free Community Outreach Agency, Inc. has bought a whirlwind of change to Duplin County since its start in 2019. CEO Chiquitta Lesene used her funds to start the organization along with her COO Benjamin Moore, both Duplin County natives. Since then, the organization has gone from no operating dollars to over 1.2 million dollars in partnered and collaborated grant funding which they plan to use for their many initiatives.

Shackle Free Community Outreach Agency’s mission is to promote self-reliance and to address all barriers that hinder the holistic well-being (mind, body, spirit) of individuals and families. Its purpose is to educate, inspire, advocate, consult, counsel, and increase awareness in historically marginalized rural communities of color and beyond, in support of a better way of life.

According to Lesene, they want it to be a one-stop-shop where holistic and outcome-based services can address the health, economic, racial, and social disparities within the county. Their goal is to attack the root causes of the conditions that contribute to the continuation of the issues within marginalized communities.......

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