STORIES OF HOPE
“We are a part of something that’s bigger than sticks and bricks and buildings. We are a part of something that’s community driven and community built.”
- Eli Marshall, Project Manager
A SECOND CHANCE
The sun is just peeking over the eastern edge of Chapel Hill Apartments when 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.
The Creation 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. Founded in 2017, the Creation Team is a partnership between Renewing Management and our sister company, Volumod. The Creation Team helps returning citizens find new life after prison. This one-year intensive program provides participants a job, new work abilities, life skills and one-on-one mentoring. In addition to learning skills in trades like electrical, plumbing and carpentry, participants focus on character development.
"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. Heart exercises focus on items such as spiritual renewal, personal responsibility, good relationships, finances and setting goals. While Hands training includes all the hands-on jobs in the particular trade participants learn.
Second Chances all Around
Second chances are not just for life after incarceration. Laura Miller began her career with the Renewing Management accounting department before transitioning to our sister company, Volumod. Working in a second chance environment has been key to Laura further realizing her calling. After a lifetime of seeking approval in all the wrong places, Laura is finally secure in the freedom she's found. "Now I know who God created me to be. I know he has a plan for my life, and I just have to walk into that plan," she says.
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 Creation Team program, email Renewing Management.