TLC, its leader represent 30-year success story

Three decades ago, with eight beds in modest quarters on Rose Street in Williamsport, the Transitional Living Center began its mission to address the needs of female offenders by helping them transition back into the community in a home-living environment.

Three decades later, driven by the principles of tough love and caring, the Transitional Living Center operates out of a 34-bed facility at West Third and Maynard streets.

The physical growth stands as a symbol of how far the operation has come in every other way.

The Transitional Living Center stands as a practical, proven way to get people out of the depths of life’s struggles back to a place where they are a viable part of the community.

It stands as proof of what a well-run organization based on heart as well as practical methods can do.

Hundreds of people have transported the center to its success, but it’s hard not to point to one person representing the heart and soul of the center.

At its luncheon last week, the organization honored Gregory Smith, who is retiring as its chief executive officer after 25 years.

Smith was lauded for his positive leadership, fatherly wisdom, and perfect sense of the center’s mission.

Many organizations rise out of a need and a mission. Those that survive to meet their mission with practicality and humanity are the ones that are blessed by leadership that mixes vision with heart.

Clearly, Smith provided that to the center, leaving the organization positioned to do its sorely needed work for at least another 30 years.