Zion Endowment Awarded to Support Returning Citizens
LSS has been awarded a grant from the Mission Endowment Fund of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterville to support a new program that will serve people who are returning to the community from incarceration in jail or prison. In this program, an LSS employee will work with people at no cost to them to help them to overcome the obstacles encountered when returning to the community, such as finding suitable and stable housing, arranging for transportation, and finding and keeping a job. Social research shows that when these needs are not met in stable and dependable ways, the likelihood of returning to criminal behavior rises and people are more likely to return to jail or prison.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus mentions that the visitation of those who are in prison is a service that is considered to be rendered unto Him. This supportive service to “these who are members of (Jesus’) family” will be provided in cooperation with the Citizen Circles at Salem Lutheran Church and Wesley United Methodist Church in Toledo, and may also work with local probation and parole departments, depending on the person.
Feed Your Neighbor food pantries at both churches and the LSS Toledo Emergency Choice Food Pantry may also be used, depending on need. In addition to providing the service and support of the LSS employee, funds may also be used to help with paying other costs of returning to the community, such as: educational group fees, bus tokens, cab fare, gas cards, driver’s license restoration fees, clothing for job interviews, devotional and other self help materials, and other needs that may arise.
To provide this service, LSS will build on already existing relationships with Toledo Municipal Court Probation, Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC), United Way, and 211. Relationships are being developed with the Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and Re-entry Coalition.
The Mission Endowment Fund of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterville recently awarded $108,000 to 21 nonprofit organizations for
Applicants are sponsored by Zion’s members. Recipients include a broad range of regional, national and global nonprofit organizations that share the Fund’s goal of “Bringing Mission to Life.”