How bad is this problem?
Did you know that 60% of those persons who leave incarceration without a home address in hand will be re-arrested within the 1st year? Providing housing for ex-offenders is a great need for our thriving community because there is plenty of opportunity for employment and education around for which many Georgians want to be a part of.
More than 800+men and women will want to either return to Gwinnett or become a part of Gwinnett upon release from the local and state jails this year. True, not all of them are homeless, but according to a recent Point-in-Time count some 193 could be released as such, and another majority could become precariously housed with uncertainty. Only because their families don’t want them around any longer.
This creates great strain upon a community that’s limited in resourceful providers having adequate bed space for an under-served and marginalized population – most probably had never considered was a topic at all.
What’s being done then?
Giving people a 2nd chance to become active, tax-paying, and thriving citizens (maybe even for the first time) takes some involvement to encourage and empower those who have become without voice, vision and are essentially unequal.
Judy House Ministry fosters a safe, home setting that transitions men in a family style atmosphere, equipping and developing through structured relationships that teach communication, expectations, and accountability.
Clients have a chance to see themselves sustained through the second chance guidance when being mentored in areas of finance, educational vistas, and better decision-making skills.
Because having a felony background can limit the hopes for a good job, bank account, and particularly housing – a plan must exist to begin to create social and economic capital which takes time to accrue through vital relationships or small group through church.
Seeing the end from the beginning
During the process of reintegration, there can surface discouragement and great fear for the clients involved.
Rejection, disappointment, and trial can make equality in the community seem far away impossible. With a steady diet of encouragement and intentional teaching on the right disciplines needed, every participant (whether our program or another) can find themselves on level playing field.
What it takes is vision. Seeing ahead with adamant pursuit. You can’t change the facade of inequality without doing some repair to the foundation first.
By giving in service, time, talent, and treasure we each can assign a vision that’s equipped to deliver the essential functions needed to finally find equal footing and placement back into our communities again.