Moving People of Faith from the Pulpit and Pew to the Pavement
Healing Communities approaches prisoner reentry as a congregational issue- it asks, how can the local church, mosque, temple or congregation provide formal and informal support for men and women returning from incarceration (whom we call “returning citizens”)- By beginning with the families within the individual congregation, and house of worship can identify persons and families who require such support- virtually every congregation has members connected to one of the 1 in 100 Americans currently behind bars.
In African American communities where the incarceration rate for Black males under the age of 35 approaches one third, the need increases. On the pages of the Healing Community website are resources for starting a HCs ministry in your community. Groups of congregations, calling themselves “Stations of Hope” are located in:
- San Diego
- Indianapolis, and
- Seminole County Florida
Message from the Director
Healing Communitiesis an innovative approach to prison ministry and prisoner reentry that begins with compassionate people and the caring resources of the local congregation. Since its development by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2006, the Healing Communities has been adopted by congregations across the country, with implementation by such groups as the Christian Association for Prison Aftercare, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and the current host- the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation.
These Stations of Hope have been working with returning citizens and their families since 2008; several of the stories from their work appear on the testimonials page. In addition, written resources are available, such as the three Healing Communities handbooks, a research based conceptual framework paper, audio video resources, and several articles that rehearse the background, philosophy and early phases of implementation of the Healing Communities model.
We invite your feedback, comments and questions. And if your congregation is interested in becoming a Station of Hope, or your organization wishes to sponsor a Healing Communities site, we would be happy to hear from you as well.
Grace and Peace,Harold DeanTrulear, PhD