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Help behind bars
Freedom Life supports incarcerated individuals with a variety of programs and services including chaplaincy, special concerts and events, worship facilitation, music leadership, bible study, pastoral care, bible publications and resources, staff support, volunteer coordination, chapel administration, one on one mentoring and fathering classes.
An enormous problem
Approximately 1.6 million people living in North Carolina have a criminal record. Currently, over 37,000 are serving time in prison, from which at some point 95% will be released. Almost 100,000 individuals are on some type of post release probation and/or parole. Not reflected within these numbers are the thousands of men and women who are being held in county jails and detentions centers across our state.
Help When It's Needed
Freedom Life seeks to partner with our community in addressing the complex needs of men and women who are currently or have faced incarceration. Just as our clients cannot turn their life around into new capacity and direction by themselves, neither can we as a single nonprofit organization help them change their lives alone. At Freedom Life, we know it takes a community working together to make a difference in peoples lives.
All of this to say that there are many justice involved people across our state and within our own community here in McDowell County that need our help. Men and women reintegrating into society from jail or prison face many barriers including food, clothing, housing, jobs, transportation, mental health needs, medical health needs, substance misuse/addiction vulnerabilities, spiritual life needs, etc. Many are released who have lost everything and literally have nothing but the clothes on their back. In addition to these barriers, there are more than 900 state and federal laws that deny North Carolinians a wide range of privileges and rights based on a criminal record. Many have been estranged from their families or cannot return to their families because of the very conditions existing there that led to their own criminal behavior.
No one can overcome the many hurdles and barriers faced by justice involved individuals alone.
While some may say that these people have made their choices and deserve the consequences. For those of us who live in the faith of what Christ has done for us, we have a Biblical mandate to serve the needs of individuals who have been or are currently incarcerated. Christ Himself said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Men and women living or reentering our communities who have faced judicial prosecution, are doing or have done their time. They have paid or are paying the price for their choices. Without a caring community to reach out and help them, as Christ has done for us, how can we expect them to live their lives in new capacity and direction.
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7 - KJV)
This is where Freedom Life comes in. We seek to bring the many resources of our community and the many needs of our justice involved clients and their families together. Through providing case management, mentoring, pastoral care, needs resourcing, and agency networking, clients of Freedom Life are able to receive the holistic help they need to address literally every need in their lives and in the lives of their families. This is true of their practical needs such as housing and jobs, their mental health, emotional health, relational health, and physical health needs, and also their spiritual health needs.