BENEFITING: The House Of Redemption
Release from prison--which is often accompanied by anxiety but not necessarily an identification card, transportation, money, education, or employable skills--means engaging multiple social barriers and laws impacting community re-socialization. Three major barriers are unemployment, lack of access to social service programs and unstable housing, and failure to successfully navigate them often leads back to life behind bars. The House of Redemption was created in December 2012 as a response to the lack of long-term and permanent residences for individuals returning to Columbus, Ohio communities post-prison. We named our ongoing project "Sonya's Place" in recognition of Sonya Hawkins, currently serving a 28 years-to-life sentence at Marysville, Ohio's Reformatory for Women. Her story, like that of many others, is one of a momentary decision made in the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong people. "I can’t blame anybody else but me. I take responsibility for what I did. It took a very long time to admit that to myself, but it’s the truth. I can say along this journey of mine I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met a lot of wonderful women who made mistakes. It doesn’t make us bad people. Our actions landed us here. 21 years later I’m 40 years old and I’ve grown a lot…I’m a year away from my parole board, and I still crave knowledge and more wisdom. This journey will always go on but it’s up to me how I choose to travel it….I still continue to move forward and learning all that I can. This is not over for me. I have lives that I can touch and maybe stop them from making the wrong choices…" Sonja Hawkins (My Life’s Journey) THOR believes that men and women who have paid their debt to society have the right to get on with their lives. Several large non-profit organizations, service agencies and re-entry programs offer short-term or temporary housing with a focus on reduction of crime and recidivism rates—important and necessary goals. “Redemption’ stresses revival and experiencing a season of new beginnings and clean slates. ‘Home' is more than just a temporary shelter for the body, a place to sleep, or to temporarily store one's possessions. 'Home' is that space where one can breathe freely, thrive, and exercise accountable decision-making. Each of us on the outside must do what we can to help break down and eliminate the barriers separating someone trying to take their rightful place in the world from home ownership, an education, a job, and other necessities of life. For former inmates who have demonstrated self-discipline and self-motivation, THOR endeavors to eliminate the barrier of homelessness by building and providing affordable, fully furnished, non-traditional homes. In partnership with an advocacy consulting agency, we also address employment and other rehabilitative needs toward the goal of total transformation--one family at a time. Since fundraising began 3 years ago, $80,000 has been raised by THOR and applied toward the building of our first home. No funds have been used to pay any salaries (although we have included a stipend in the projected expenses below). Our goal is to raise an additional $50,000 by April 30, 2017 in order to reach our projected construction costs. If 100 people each gives $10, and each person successfully encourages 50 other people to each give $10 as well, we can easily reach our goal. Of course, larger donations would be greatly appreciated (!) and any excess capital will be applied toward construction of the next home. Itemized construction costs are listed below should an individual or group wish to gift specific construction expenses: General Conditions $905 Sitework-Water/sewer connection $3,555 Concrete- Pier and Trench wall foundation $8,800 Metal- framing $11,850 Wood- interior framing, cabinets, closets… $18,550 Thermal protection $12,643 Doors, Windows $12,300 Finishes – Drywall, painting… $6,930 Appliances $7,500 Plumbing $4,200 HVAC $4,500 Electrical $4,490 Communication $1,000 Other Construction Costs-Proj. Manage/Permits $6,597 Additional Owner Expenses-Engineering… $7,785 Project Contingency $10,510 Land $2,400 Salaries $5,000 Total Budgeted Costs $120,056 Cash on hand $74,000 Difference -$46,056 Please join us in this important work of changing lives—one family at a time.