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Independent Living Preparation


The P.R.E.P.A.R.E. Program (Providing Resources Education and Preparation to Adolescents Reaching Emancipation) is a statewide community-based program that provides preparation for independent living to foster teens ages 14-21. This program includes readiness assessments, skills training groups, retreats, conferences, and a transitional apartment living component.

P.R.E.P.A.R.E. is administered through Independent Living Specialists who live in communities throughout the state and are responsible for foster teens in certain geographical areas. These areas are listed below with the mailing address and phone number of the Independent Living Specialist responsible for that area.

P.R.E.P.A.R.E. Staff



Barry Dixon, Division Director P.R.E.P.A.R.E. Program

Jessica Easterling, Aftercare Coordinator

Natile Thompson, Independent Living Specialist, Region III

860 East River Place, Suite 104
Jackson, MS 39202
Phone (601) 354-0983 / (800) 748-3005
Fax (601) 352-8638

Bennie Smith, Independent Living Specialist, Region IV North
Starkville, MS 39759
Phone (662) 617-3344

 Independent Living Specialist, Region IV South

Michael Venton, Independent Living Specialist, Region VII West
11975 Seaway Road, Suite B230
Gulfport, MS 39503
Phone (228) 896-1228
Fax (228) 896-8887

Charlotte Roberts, Senior Independent Living Specialist, Region VI North
P.O. Box 1366
101 North 35th Avenue
Hattiesburg, MS 39403
Phone (601) 264-8884
Fax (601) 264-8334

Gregory Murphree, Senior Independent Living Specialist, Region I East
1800 North Gloster Street, Suite A
Tupelo, MS 38804
Phone (662) 680-9119
Fax (662) 680-9196

Tamekia Pendleton, Independent Living Specialist, Region V
P.O. Box 3577
Brookhaven, MS 39603
Phone (601) 320-1816

Corkeithya White-Sanders, Independent Living Specialist, Region II
P.O. Box 689
Indianola, MS 38751
Phone (662) 616-8604
Fax (662-246-8662

Michael Olmstead, Independent Living Specialist, Region I West
Oxford, MS 38655
Phone (662) 380-3462