I was given a tour of the Old Savannah City Mission this morning. Talk about and educational experience!
Walking in I sort of figured it was simply a homeless shelter. While it is that, the shelter is only a part of what they do there.
The Mission serves daily hot meals to inner city children. They help families in crisis with food and clothing distributions. They operate a thrift store.
But the thing that got my attention is their Urban Training Institute which is a year long residential recovery program. The program teaches life skills to men and gives them an opportunity to build a life as well as helping them get free of their addictions.
Their approach uses High Standards, Strong Boundaries, and Clear Direction. They call it Discipline with Grace. Students who are further along in the program help and mentor those who are in the earlier stages.
The really cool thing is that what they are doing is working. Lives are being changed. Men are learning how to be men and families are being healed. We heard some powerful stories from people such as Curtis and Randy about where they came from and how theyâ€™ve changed since they arrived at the Mission.
Here are some things I learned today:
- 75% of all men who are released from prison end up back there
- For women itâ€™s 85%
- Americans would rather build more prisons than actually do the messy work required to see these folks able to re-integrate into society
- God is still in the life changing business
- A little bit of help can go a long way.
There is probably a mission organization doing something similar in your city. You can check some on this interactive map. And hereâ€™s a partial list.
Make a difference in someoneâ€™s life. Get involved.
You will likely find you are the biggest winner if you do.
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