Saturday, September 8, 2012

FLEDGLINGS IN A STRAIGHT LIFE..transitional home for women needs funding to help residents learn to fly a new, meaningful path

Many people out of jail must return to the environment from where they came and will not have enough support to hold out and make it.  Some will make it and be fine parents to their children.  All out of jail deserve at lease a chance to go right and stay that way.

No person should be considered disposable.Certainly the ladies at Alpha House are not. God love them..God Bless them, they all have touched my heart and blessed me. That is why I have referred to them as "jailbirds" in an affectionate way with nothing disparaging about its honesty. Today, I will stop using that term publicly and apologize for any who were possibly offended. These ladies have a
piece of life history which happens to be public record of incarceration. Is that bit of history going to shade their lives from now on?  Yes, consequences are to be paid and life experience will shape the approach to life and "how to's" of survival and handling relationships.  Costs are often higher than the "rest of us" can imagine or honestly handle.  Yet, many of the ladies do make it past that anchor of the past and move on to establish straight and productive lives.  There is no better spokesperson about the need for deep healing the entire person and environment than these ladies who have been there, who have been in a darkness the fortunate ones will have difficulty imagining. 

The affectionate term I will now use is fledglings, young birds just free of the nest and ready to apply survival skills they have learned and are learning daily.  Flight will be a tumble at first but soon will carry the distance, with a jumbled landing now and then but better each day.  The path for any fledgling is growth and maturity in a new life.
The women in the Alpha House transitional home come for the most part fresh out of jail and facing long probation. They can gain credit for time in the transitional home and it sure beats other options.  They are not free but have a taste of it, living in a nice home with a bedroom to share with a roommate and call “their place”.  They have a place to exercise and stay fit, a place to have life skills training such as how to use computers…a place to regain or learn afresh self-image, social skills and confidence.

 A block party earlier in 2012 featured a Christian band.  
Those at the party understood the need for helping others get back on their path.

Alpha House is a Christian faith based facility and is a place the women may find faith in our Creator, discover they are God’s children and become sisters of Jesus Christ.  This faith is a powerful sustaining force in helping the ladies develop a new outlook on living in the world and in living with strength and peace in recognition of their own fallen past years.

The website for Tennessee Offender Reentry list various organizations set up to help felons and other offenders in transition to a new and straight life.
You will see Alpha House in Oliver Springs among the listings.

A new smaller residence is open and active as of January, 2013.,
Oliver Springs, TN 37840
Fee: None

 Alpha House needs to exist!  The ladies running it need strength and lots of endurance through this time. Pray for wisdom, pray for donations, help as you personally are able.

The list of organizations set up to help offenders in Tennessee is impressive but a critical aspect of it does not show:  Who pays for it !    Government grants are often not workable in the faith based transitional home like Alpha House. Funding from other sources and maintenance of that funding is difficult. As this blog post was  written during September 2012, edited on December 29 and clarified with a new post on January 17, 2013 to reflect new positive developments, the staff and volunteers of Alpha House are seeking grants and contacting churches and organizations in effort to gain regular monthly funding. Without a substantial increase in funding, the future is not rosy even with a new home being prepared for new residents.

The power point slide show which was here to tell the situation and hopefully draw some interests in funding for Alpha House is no longer relevant and is deleted.  While the slide show was available, a pleasing number of downloads were made and it did reach an audience.