Hamden woman goes from prison to successful business ventures

Hamden woman goes from prison to successful business ventures

Her life was changed by the Horizon program under the leadership of seminary student Nicholas Solak, who would go on to become a priest

Bellamy said Solak “was like an angel” to her, and she wouldn’t be where she is today without him.  He doesn’t know what a profound effect he had on her life, Bellamy said, because they haven’t connected following the
program. But she has kept track of him online and hopes someday to reconnect and tell him of his impact.

Spending three years in prison on felony drug-dealing charges helped Joyce Bellamy become the successful businesswoman she is today.

That’s because Bellamy, now 45, and always a go-getter, was one of the lucky ones changed some 20 years ago by a program at the federal prison in Danbury that resonated and taught her to let go of anger and love herself.
“That forever changed my life,” she said. “It taught you how not to be angry — how to communicate. That program taught me to love me, my color,” she said, referring to her dark skin.
Today, Bellamy owns several businesses in the health care field and employs some 200 people in Greater New Haven.
“I have so many ideas. I feel like I can do anything. With God on my side, I prosper,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy said her anger was rooted in childhood abuse — in the form of beatings. She once believed the parental abuse was because her skin was darker than that of her siblings, but has come to think maybe it was because she was such a thinker it made her difficult to handle. Her young life was rocky.
She was an outstanding student, she said, but, unable to bear the violence at home, from 11 to 14 years old she lived in a New Haven runaway shelter, and from about 14-17 was homeless and selling drugs, although Bellamy said she has never used drugs. As a homeless teen she slept at friends’ homes, in cars, in abandoned buildings, hotels. Through it all she had earned enough credits at Eli Whitney Technical school to graduate with her class and did so three days after giving birth at 16.
Once she graduated, Bellamy continued drug dealing, becoming a distributor of major quantities, then was busted eight years into that and convicted on felony charges related to dealing.
Bellamy, who would give birth to a second child in jail, faced a minimum sentence of 18 years in federal prison, but it was reduced to three years because of the abuse she suffered as a child. At 45, Bellamy has opened Best Choice Home Health Care, in addition to owning Alliance Careers Institute, a school to train certified nurses’ aides, patient care technicians, EKG, phlebotomy and more.

Bellamy, of Hamden, also owns DNA Genetics Lab on State Street and is co-owner of the transportation company Wheelz 4 U, and also of Loving Serenity Home Health Care and Blessings 4ever Home Health Care. She said she’s the only African American to own a genetic testing lab in Connecticut and the only African American certified colon hydro-therapist.
Bellamy also is a paralegal and is channeling that expertise into a new business, Families and Friends Against Deportation, which helps non-citizens and immigrants on deportation matters.
In addition to running the businesses, she often gives others advice and helps them launch businesses.
“I’m a role model for a lot of people,” she said. “I’ve been in the street. I’m resourceful.”
Some people have money, but no ideas; others have ideas, but no money, she said. In some cases the ventures end up as partnerships, she said.
She launched quickly after serving her prison time, working as a certified nurse’s aide, for which she had training during the dealing days, and 10 months later started a health care business, bought her first home, then bought 20 houses and other businesses. She also at one point ran a nonprofit for ex-offenders as a way of giving back.
Three years ago, as the owner of a restaurant and two nightclubs in New Haven, she hit a financial “rock bottom,” after finding herself running the businesses that were originally only for investment.
Aside from the financial drain, she abhorred being immersed in that bar management scene, she said, because she saw too much negativity, from violence to fornication.
“I felt like I was the gatekeeper,” she said, referring to the negative behaviors.
So, drained financially, Bellamy, a mother of five, said she almost had to apply for food stamps.
But she picked herself up by the bootstraps again and went back into the kind of work she likes best: helping others.
“Anything I do has to be something to help someone,” she said.



Back to News

Service Schedule

  • DEC 15, Sat:   Resurrectional Vespers  4:00 PM
  • DEC 16, Sun:   Divine Liturgy - Prophet Haggai Bl. Empress Theophano  9:30 AM
  • DEC 18, Tue:   Daily Vespers  4:00 PM

see all service schedules

Upcoming Events

see all events

Holy Trinity News

Deadline for Holiday Food Drive

Read article

Fellowship Project Progress!

Read article

Holiday Food Drive Nov. 18 - Dec. 17th

Read article

Deacon Carl Reposed in the Lord Oct. 27, 2018 Viewing on Thursday, 11.1.18 4-6 pm

Read article

His Beatitude's Archpastoral letter on the shooting in Pittsburgh this past Sunday

Read article

St. Tikhon's Fall Lecture Series

Read article

Father Nicholas and $470,700 Lilly Grant helps establish OCA Clergy and Clergy Wives Peer Learning Groups

Read article

Fellowship Project

Read article

Small Groups

Read article

Fr. Vjekoslav & Family

Read article

Video presentation from the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Read article

19th All-American Council - For The Life of the World

Read article

Fr. Nicholas and Masha at All-American Council

Read article

Pot Luck Coffee Hour Sun., July 22th

Read article

Father Nicholas' 2018 Trip to Russia

Read article

Holy Protection Orthodox Christian Preschool 2018 Graduation

Read article

Ss. Peter & Paul Fast Begins Monday, June 4th - Friday, June 29th

Read article

Parish Feast Day and Pentecost Sunday, May 27th

Read article

Pot Luck Mother's Day Coffee Hour

Read article

Reception of Mark McKeown into the Orthodox Faith after Divine Liturgy on Sat., 3/31

Read article

Lenten Thursday Book Study

Read article

Great Lent 2018 Letter from Archbishop Mark +

Read article

Benjamin Solak's GOFUNDME link for OCF Real Break trip this March!

Read article

Fr. Nicholas and family together for Thanksgiving and serving our friends at our Community Breakfast

Read article

Sunshine Ministry

Read article

Engagement of Lisa Mastroberte and Christopher Metz

Read article

Holy Fire at Holy Trinity!!

Read article

15th Anniversary of Father Nicholas' Ordination - Many Years!

Read article

Holy Trinity Recent Facebook Posts

Notice for site admin.

Due to Facebook API changes it is now required that you use your own Facebook Access Token. To obtain a token, please use this tool. We apologize for any inconvenience.

To hide this message add the following to your website CSS file: .cff-error-msg{display:none;}

No Vespers this evening 12/11/18. ... See moreSee less

Celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark. ... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

Due to the extensive renovations going on in the Fellowship Hall, we have moved the bookstore to the opposite site of the Hall. Come check us out! ... See moreSee less

Bill & Sara Rusk invited Bill's co-worker's Christian Fellowship Group from Northampton Community College to experience our Great Vespers on the Forefeast of the Entrance of the Most-Holy Theotokos. ... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

Happy Thanksgiving to all. It's been a wonderful blessing to have you in my heart and prayers.

FELLOWSHIP PLEDGE DRIVE ... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

very well said. Efxaristo

... See moreSee less

May God grant them many, many, many years of health, happiness, peace and prosperity. ... See moreSee less

Funeral for Deacon Carl Hodel Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM ... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

Memory Eternal ☦🙏❤☦

Deacon Carl passed away early this morning. Arrangements are not yet finalized; they will be communicated soon. May the memory of the servant of God the Deacon Carl be eternal!

In Christ,
Father Nicholas
... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

Memory eternal. May his soul dwell with the blessed

May his memory be eternal

Memory eternal.

R.I.P

Memory Eternal.

Memory eternal! His soul shall dwell with the blessed.

Memory Eternal.

Will keep in my prayers

+ View previous comments

Fr. John Parker's comments regarding Public Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy in Dialogue, and the Wheel, live from Orthodox Academy of Crete International Conference.

Πεμπτουσία
... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

... See moreSee less

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church Soup Kitchen and Community Breakfast Ministries. ... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

May God bless you all

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church Soup Kitchen and Community Breakfast Ministries. ... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

You all are amazing ❤️.

Hi Becky, your Mom and Dad would be so proud of you ☦️

Faith-Fellowship-Hospitality Project ... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

Our Faith, Fellowship & Hospitality Project🙏