How would you respond if a “scary” returning citizen (first-degree murderer) began attending at your local church, someone whom no one else wanted anything to do with because of his past? Would you invite him to dinner? Would you ask him to join your circle of peers, even when people discouraged you from doing so?
Joseph did. The returning citizen was the Apostle Paul. If you do not remember Joseph, it is because he was often called by his nickname, Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement.” Redemption Housing’s first residence, Barnabas House, will exist to encourage and support returning citizens.
According to a nationwide study in 2005, more than a third of returning citizens who are arrested within five years of their release are arrested within the first 6 months, with more than half arrested by the end of the first year. These statistics point to the need for safe and supportive communities where returning citizens are able to further their rehabilitation and decrease their likelihood of recidivism. Unfortunately, recovery homes often have procedures and policies in place which screen out returning citizens. Therefore, many returning citizens have been “falling through the cracks,” forced to turn to emergency homeless shelters due to this lack of reentry support.
Instead of abandoning them, Barnabas House will invite those who are transitioning from incarceration back into community. Redemption Housing believes that returning citizens require support circles to properly break free of crime, addiction, and homelessness. Barnabas House will offer this support.
The residence will be supervised by a team of people who are committed to:
Affirming the humanity of residents through a safe and nurturing environment.
Creating a comfortable home while sustaining substance-free premises.
Inviting personal change with a focus on individualized short-term and long-term goals for residents.
Encouraging participation in a faith-centered and diverse community life.
The program and facilities will also include the following advantages:
Private and shared rooms.
Walking distance to public transportation.
A community room for group meetings and services, such as on-site addiction recovery meetings, individual counseling, job skills training, and spiritual counseling.
“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption