Doors of Hope celebrates and encourages the efforts of its clients to become their best, most productive selves. Upon release from incarceration, many DOH clients face challenges in gaining employment due to background checks. Doors of Hope has identified community partners who are willing to give folks a second chance. These community partnerships have been long-standing as DOH clients prove themselves to be dependable, reliable, enthusiastic workers. This is huge for clients who, before learning life skills and having the support of DOH, could not hold down a job. Volunteers with strong community ties have also joined the Doors of Hope team to recruit new businesses as potential employers for clients, which will hopefully lead to more variety in the types of jobs that clients may pursue.
A trend that we are finding with DOH clients (especially those who have regained custody of their children) is that they are thinking beyond just getting a paycheck. They are looking at and desiring to be fulfilled; to thrive. As natural gifts and talents are being uncovered through sobriety, counseling, support groups, and other activities, clients are encouraged to explore ways that they might find a job that is compatible with and maximizes those gifts and talents. For some, that might mean getting their GED or enrolling in college courses. For others, like myself, it may mean financial assistance with attaining a certification that will allow me to expand upon my knowledge-base, as well as garner more pay, in my current field.
DOH delights in the example that is set for the children of its clients who get to see their parents realize their potential through becoming methodical and focused, by being goal-driven, by applying themselves to studies, by demonstrating consistency and commitment, and by reaping the rewards of diligent effort and faith. It is awesome to think about what these children will grow to achieve with such positive role models.
The men’s housing program is just a couple of months old and already having a major impact on our clients. It’s not just a warm place to sleep, but also a vehicle to support the men with structure and encouragement. As we often discuss in our Braveheart classes, it’s easy to commit to change in the isolated environment of the work house, but being released is like merging on a freeway on-ramp, where everything is moving at least 70 mph. Temporary setbacks are almost guaranteed, and they can quickly derail plans for a changed life.
Arthur is a great example. When he moved into our new facility after his release, men’s LIFE program director Michael Jordan led him through a goal-setting process, giving guidance and encouragement in his job search. Two weeks later, Arthur was excited to be placed in his first job by a temp agency. But after a month of strong performance on the job, his background check showed prior incarceration, and his employer let him go. Arthur had honestly marked on his application that he had no felony record, but the employer would not tolerate prior misdemeanors either.
Of course, Arthur was upset at first, but he quickly returned to his plan, calling back other employers and temp agencies that already had his application from his first job search. Two days later, he landed a better job with an employer who chose to work with him in spite of his history. His new employer is so happy with Arthur that he has been promised a permanent position after his temp placement period ends. Arthur has now been able to move out of Braveheart housing and into an apartment with a friend.
Arthur is still plugged into Project Braveheart, and he knows there will be more bumps in the road. But he’s still working his plan, and he’s learned that often when there are setbacks, God has something better in store.
If you can serve as a mentor, please email email@example.com.
Doors of Hope helps Men! Join our mentor team or to find out more about our efforts.
Contact: Michael Jordan, 615-545-8330 or Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop by this Friday to purchase a beautiful flower arrangement created by Sheila Hines!