Thursday, October 15, 2009

Eye Black Challengers - House of Hope of Alachua Co.

Since it is homecoming week we thought it was appropriate to feature a local group who help provide a home for those who have been recently released from incarceration. Often former inmates have no where to go when released, or they can only return to the environment which contributed to their incarceration in the first place.

House of Hope of Alachua County not only helps give men and women a new start but also the support to be successful. Their success rate is 85%. Below is more information on House of Hope. Please consider giving those in the greater Gainesville area, and not just the University of Florida, a happy homecoming too.



WHAT IS THE HOUSE OF HOPE OF ALACHUA COUNTY?
The House of Hope of Alachua County is a Not-for-Profit Corporation, formed under the laws of the State of Florida, and is qualified as a 501(c)(3) corporation with the IRS and complies with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services rules and regulations. The House of Hope of Alachua County is a volunteer driven, faith-based support program for Christians recently released from incarceration. Currently, the program provides housing and services for 27 men and 8 women per year. We are a smoke free facility.

WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE HOUSE OF HOPE OF ALACHUA COUNTY?
To provide food, shelter, opportunities for employment, life-skills training, and a short term Christian home for inmates recently released from prison so as to enable them, as guests, to "get on their feet" during that initial critical time, so that they may become productively assimilated into society through the grace of Christian love. Also, to provide local mission and service opportunities for other agencies, groups, churches, ministries, etc., to assist and help prepare its guests to become integrated member of society and the area's Christian community.

DOES THE HOUSE OF HOPE OF ALACHUA COUNTY ASSIST PARTICIPANTS FIND EMPLOYMENT?
Yes. Program participants are free to seek employment wherever they choose. However, the House of Hope of Alachua County has developed long-term relationships with area employers who are ready and willing to hire program participants. Employment can’t be on Sundays or evenings, so that one can partake in programs. Many participants choose to stay on with these employers and advance with these companies through apprenticeship and management training programs.

IS HOUSE OF HOPE OF ALACHUA COUNTY PROGRAM SUCCESSFUL?
Yes. Statistics tell us that almost two-thirds of all Florida inmates released from jail or prison are re-arrested! In stark contrast, since its beginnings in 1996, 85% of our program graduates have not returned to a life of crime. When they become productive members of society, they do not return to a life of crime. Some of our clients are now married, holding permanent employment and attending college.

WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT THE HOUSE OF HOPE OF ALACHUA COUNTY?
Unfortunatley, nobody much cares for released inmates except to shun them from their neighborhoods and communities. The House of Hope of Alachua County is a way of bringing the light of a better future and the hope for a new start to ex-offenders in Alachua County. Likewise, our program is primarily driven by the community generosity and volunteers. Thus, your donations of money, goods, and services have a direct impact on the program and the clients it supports. You are able to impact the lives of transformed people for the better. Each individual makes a positive contribution rather than increasing our crime rate.

The various ways you can help the House of Hope, including praying, volunteering, and donating, can be found here.

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