Surviving the experience of prison not only takes courage, it also presumes men and women who have paid their debt to society can get on with their lives. The tragic reality of our society, however, is that convictions tend to follow people forever--given our age of computers--and existing laws create conditions that encourage and facilitate reimprisonment.
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. Failure to successfully navigate one of more of these barriers often leads back to life behind bars.
While the reduction of crime and recidivism are worthy and necessary goals, 'redemption' is more about being revived and experiencing a season of new beginnings and clean slates. To achieve it, though, those men and women genuinely wanting and trying to live a more responsible life must have the support of those of us on the 'outside'.
The House of Redemption (THOR), located in Columbus, Ohio, was created to address the specific issue of unstable housing prevalent among citizens returning to community post-prison. While several large non-profit organizations and service agencies offer short-term or temporary housing, THOR believes that '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.
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.