Cultivating Change: One Life At A Time

Trust Your Path

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.


Destiny Reached Thru Empowerment (DRTE) is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. We provide life-skills training for women who want to move from dependent to independent, self-sufficient lifestyles. Our mission is to empower women to make life changes.

DRTE is a long-duration transitional housing, and a comprehensive training and counseling program.  We have identified women who are reentering society from jail and/or prison. The overwhelming majority of women we serve are from lower socio-economic population groups. Engaging this population can be challenging, yet their use of DRTE housing, programming, and services will give them some profound benefits while, at the same time, encouraging them to break the cycle of recidivism.

We have targeted this population, because of a variety of factors that hinder successful re-entry into society. Factors we consider include: time in local, state, and federal prison systems, exposure to abusive relationships, alcohol and drug dependencies, and exposure to or participation in prostitution. Our clients have nowhere to go, and no one to turn to once released from prison. They are in desperate need of transitional housing as well as life-skills to empower them to self-sufficiency.

Studies show that 200,000 women are behind bars and/or on probation or parole.  Many of these women struggle not only with substance abuse, but mental illness, and histories of physical and sexual abuse before the age of 18. Few receive the clinical assistance and treatment they need. The successful reintegration of ex-offenders in communities and society at-large is a growing concern. For the good of society and these women, it is important that we assist them with housing, securing and retaining employment, and learning basic life-skills. DRTE is making a significant impact on the community, in both short-term relief and long-term skill development, and empowerment.

Our Founder, Tracie Barnes is a author and life-skills instructor who teaches classes in the Mecklenburg county jail as well as other agencies. She served on a workgroup committee for the City of Charlotte whose focus is to develop a unified vision that incorporates community wide goals centered on how we live, work and play in the Charlotte community. She is a certified community master trainer (CCMT), a meetings and events planner of over 20 years, several years of mentoring and counseling experience, and encouraging women, men and children not to give up on their dreams.  She believes that no one’s past mistakes should dictate their future. She has a passion for helping women reach their full potential by inspiring, motivating and empowering.

About Us