Nurturing the Human Heart

One act of kindness toward, one person, one family, one community at a time

About Hope Ministries

Founded in June 2011, although the work started in 2006 while working for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and volunteering to work with at-risk youth and adults in the community. Starting working with inmates serving a life term in prisons, to stop the pipeline of youth entering prisons. Working with a great team of youth advocates, such as, judges, attorneys, educators, families, Worknet, and others to address the increasing consequences of truancy. Several workshops are put on to educate the people on ‘Choices and Consequences’.

 No employees, all labor is done by volunteers, adults needing on the job training to continue receiving welfare aide, and the youth hired through Worknet.

 Purpose:  Enhance success options for the youth, increase public safety by reducing Recidivism through community collaboration. Goals:  Restore Families 

  Structure: community based organization offers programs to individuals transitioning from corrections, on probation or parole, court ordered to engage in treatment. HOPE Ministries provides Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Substance Abuse,  Common Sense Parenting,  Counseling,  Family Reunification,  spiritual support. Other clients are referred by word of mouth. Quarterly,  visits to the institution are facilitated to take youth into prisons to meet with the inmate panelists to have a healthy conversation about sensitive issues. It is not like the TV show ‘Beyond Scared Straight’, but rather to let the youth know the consequences for their choices. Every week or no less than bi-weekly, Choices and Consequences presentations are held at a school to include the live feed – video conferencing with the inmates and a panel of adults doing well in treatment or have graduated. We have been facilitating conferences since 2008, having spoke to well over 7500 students, teachers and families.

In addition,  annually families are adopted as part of the educational incentive to increase parent participation in their child’s education. At the site, their are 6 computers to assist children with homework instead of waiting in line at the library. 

During the summer months an 8-week academy is provided to keep youth ages 14-21 off the street and work to earn minimum wage for up to 30 hours a week. Tutoring services are provided daily to get youth caught up and prepared for the next semester. Throughout the year,  all are encouraged to stay connected as a support to others and to continue being supported.

Since 2011, approximately 10,000 clients have received services.

Yes. It is effective, because daily many are making life saving decisions. Many youth and adults are taking advantage of treatment and self-help opportunities for growth. The program is innovative, completely outside the box of thinking from the norm, but encourages the goal of restoring families.

The problem is when people are so broken, and have been put down so long, they have lost hope and don’t believe that improving the quality of their life is possible. Agency problems is not having enough funding to enhance services through residential treatment programming, not having sufficient office space for all of the volunteers, and not being able to track all participants who have completed programs after one year.

What has gone very well, is the many women and men who have completed programs and have received their children back from child protective custody or services, currently in position pending custody placement hearings with positive expectations, observing those who have made a decision that their lives are worth saving and no longer desire to continue to use drugs, alcohol, or return to the prison environment. The youth who are successfully graduating from schools, utilizing the computer lab for their homework, coming forward to share the issues they are facing once believing that there was no hope – are now hopeful. Inmates who are serving life sentences finding gratification in letting others know the truth about the prison life, separating from their past criminal activities thereby making a lifestyle change for the better.

Suggested changes. None. There are no regrets, failures, hopelessness in working with people. I wish I had more funding more help, to reach more people. what is very true to me is knowing that there is a problem but choosing to do nothing to resolve it.