While not often, GraceWorks occasionally serves Neighbors newly released from the Williamson County Jail to give them a head start on a new life.
Some of them, like John, have no other clothes or cash for transportation to their families. When jail personnel suggested John might find assistance at GraceWorks, he took the one-mile walk to our door.
John’s family lives in another state where his two daughters live with their mother, and he had no way to get home to them. He was hungry and had no clothes other than what he was wearing.
John had the same caring conversation with Neighbor Services Staff, with no judgement, no lectures or questions about why he had been incarcerated.
After determining what he needed, John was given a voucher for free clothing from the GraceWorks Thrift Store, a bus ticket, a Lyft ride to the bus station and snacks for the trip. Staff and volunteers prayed with him and wished him well on his next chapter in life.
Stephanie, Neighbor Services GraceWorker Manager, saw him putting his new belongings and snacks in a garbage bag and added her usual graceful touch of compassion.
“He was very grateful for what we were able to do to help him get started,” Stephanie said. “One of the things I always like to do for those who just got out of jail is offer a backpack. So many times, they come to us with their belongings in a plastic garbage bag. It is not dignified, because others see this and may judge them. We found just the right backpack for John, and he was able to put his new clothes and snacks inside. “