“Finding a job after being incarcerated can be really tough. The minute they find out you've been in prison, the door often closes.”
- John Gammon, Director of Re-entry
A SECOND CHANCE
The sun is just peeking over the eastern edge of Chapel Hill Apartments when Asset Team members begin to arrive, some holding cups of coffee or a quick breakfast. It’s Friday, so before work, the team meets to review the previous week, set goals for the coming week and support each other along the way. After working 40 hours Monday – Thursday, the most important work is happening at this weekly Friday meeting.
Founded in 2017, Renewing Management's Asset Team helps returning citizens find new life after prison. The Asset Team is a one-year intensive program that gives participants a job, new work abilities, life skills and one-on-one mentoring. In addition to learning skills in renovation and maintenance, participants focus on character development.
The Asset Team is a diverse group – men, women, black, white, hispanic – all coming together to support one another in the quest for a transformed life after incarceration.
"We talk a lot about integrity," says Director of Re-entry, John Gammon. "If the heart ain't changed, nothing is changed." Integrity rolls right into being a productive, law-abiding citizen. Coming to work, paying bills, solving conflicts, and building meaningful relationships all take honesty and reliability.
“Life outside of prison is tough,” says John. “You’ve got lots pulling on you – the old friends, the old ways, drugs or whatever got you in the first place. We teach people how to anchor their lives in Christ first, and then we work on fundamental issues like boundaries, budgeting and building new, productive habits.”
Head, Heart & Hands
Mentoring takes place one-on-one on the work site, but also in weekly Friday morning meetings. In the meeting, members are free to voice frustrations, fears and failures. But, it’s also a light-hearted and supportive place where members listen, laugh and learn to love.
The group focuses on three areas of transformation, categorized “Head, Heart or Hands.” Head training are online classes focused on learning about things like safety, fair housing, communication and conflict resolution. Heartexercises focus on items such as personal responsibility, good relationships, finances and setting goals. While Handstraining include all the hands-on jobs in maintenance and remodeling participants receive.
“We’re impacting a generation,” says Director of Asset Management, Keith Baptiste. But he believes the benefit goes both ways. “I’m learning so much from the Asset Team,” he says. “Watching them grow and change is rewarding.”
John Gammon agrees. “This is a calling, not a job. Without a father, many of us didn’t know what it was to be a true man or woman of integrity. Here at Renewing Management, I learned what it was to be a trustworthy man, and thanks to my Savior, Jesus Christ, I’m passing that on to my team.”
For more information about the Asset Team program, email Renewing Management.