Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

Isaiah 52:2

Defining the Need

Currently, there is a huge void when it comes to Christian-based aftercare programs; every day, across the country, inmates are released from prisons with no support structure and no one to help them cope with life after incarceration. Because of this lack of support, 20.7% of inmates are back in prison within one year, and 66% are back within three years. For inmates with assigned mentors and a structured program after their release, the recidivism rate drops to 8.7%.

 

In the United States alone, about 2,020,000 people are currently incarcerated, and over 10,000 inmates are released every week. Without help, the majority of these individuals will fall on a path back to prison. Today, over 1,200 ex-felons reside in the Wichita area, and more parole there each month.

 

These numbers are significant because it shows that with the proper attitude, a solid program curriculum, and the power of Jesus Christ, cycles of crime and addiction can be broken, and former felons can become well-adjusted and productive members of society.

A New Path

The story of Firm Foundations begins with its founder and executive director, Matt Thomas. As a former convict who found God and reaped the benefits from an aftercare program in Arizona, Matt saw the great need for a similar kind of program here in the Midwest after moving to Wichita in 2011. After two years of prayer, planning, brick walls, and dead ends, God’s spirit began to move in a mighty way. An unlikely team of people was brought together, and doors that had been closed for years began to open.

 

Our organization was formed and received non-profit status in March of 2014, and in that same month we opened our first ministry house and brought in our first program member. Since that time, important partnerships have been formed, allowing the ministry to grow exponentially. Our vision is large, and our mission is difficult, but we have been faithfully following the direction of the Holy Spirit; His hands are on the reigns, and He is relentlessly driving His kingdom forward.

bridging the gap

Currently, there is a huge void when it comes to Christian based aftercare programs; every day, across the country, inmates are released from prisons with no support structure and no one to help them cope with life after incarceration. Because of this lack of support, 20.7% of inmates are back in prison within one year, and 66% are back within three years. For inmates with assigned mentors and a structured program after their release, the recidivism rate drops to 8.7%.

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