When a man leaves prison he sometimes leaves with $25, a bus ticket and minimal belongings. Imagine a man arrested in June with a pair of shorts and sandals – with no family or friends. If this man leaves prison in December he may face his first winter of freedom with few provisions and limited support for the challenge of rebuilding his life.
One-third of prisoners lose their home while incarcerated, two-thirds lose their job, more than a fifth face increased financial problems and two-fifths lose contact with their families. Former inmates have practical needs for housing, employment, food, clothing, transportation and often for medication.
Social services are available, but putting an effective system of help together is complicated as these services are offered through separate agencies. The process of making it all work while securing housing, finding employment, making parole and mental health appointments, attending mandated classes, staying off alcohol and drugs and reestablishing relationships with one's spouse or children may feel overwhelming.
Level Ground brings encouragement, support and a reference point; helping to establish a basic network of supportive resources while working with the released man to stabilize and improve his situation. Some former inmates are emotionally scarred and may have patterns of facing problems through substance abuse.
Many people of faith enter prisons and provide Bible studies, spiritual counseling and prayer. Level Ground complements these efforts with a focus on a stable place to live, job opportunities, finances and personal relationships.
Level Ground collaborates with religious and non-religious sectors of the community, believing that every person is a child of God and that God is known - or not known - in personal and individual ways.