Prodigal Ministries provides much needed stability and support to former prisoners. We help them to develop the community living skills and accountability that they’ll need to redirect their lives and to become productive citizens. With God’s help, we achieve meaningful results, helping valuable individuals change their future and the direction for the next generations. At the heart of everything Prodigal Ministries does is the belief that each client is a being of worth. Therefore, our philosophy is to “trust first.” New clients may not leave the premises for 48 hours and at some point will have a drug test. But unlike most programs, they are NOT subjected to body or possession searches for drugs, tobacco and weapons.
Our initial goal is to meet a client’s physical needs … from new clothing, personal care items and medical care, to educational help for GEDs and training for employment. Getting a job is one of the first big steps for clients, and we help each obtain the proper identification documents they will need for job applications and opening bank accounts. Staff members assist them in developing their resume and advise them on job openings.
Many of our residents have been physically and sexually abused, abandoned, and involved in substance abuse. Their emotional needs are great. Through Prodigal Ministries they receive counseling with drug and alcohol counselors as well as counselors specializing in Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
To meet their spiritual needs, clients are encouraged to attend bible study, church and accept mentoring by volunteers. Much prayer and love has been bestowed on residents from board members, staff and volunteers. Those who choose to surrender to the loving power of Jesus Christ see their lives renewed and restored.
Ours is a job that takes time. In fact, the average stay for a Prodigal client is 30 weeks, versus a mandatory exit from publicly-funded programs after 90 days. It is not uncommon for a client to be a resident at one of Prodigal’s transitional homes for a year or more before they are fully prepared to live on their own. And our support doesn’t stop there. When residents are ready to leave, Prodigal staff helps them find a place to live, and provides food staples, furniture and any needed supplies.
Because of the relationships established through the program, Prodigal clients are encouraged to come back for meetings, support sessions … or just to visit. Once a client is part of the “Prodigal Family,” it is their choice to stay connected. Many give back to the ministry in gratitude, and help others make the same successful transition.