May 19, 2016
Goodwill’s career centers designated as Stations of Hope
The Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS), in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA (Macon), held ceremonies on May 16 in Augusta and May 19 in Macon to designate Goodwill sites as Healing Communities “Stations of Hope.”
Healing Communities is a ministerial and outreach framework of the DCS that focuses on men and women who are returning from or who may be at risk of entering jail or the prison system. The program challenges congregations and civic organizations to become “Stations of Hope” for those individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. The model teaches faith and community leaders how to embrace returning citizens, how to help them connect with their own personal faith, and underscores the importance of collaborating with friends and family members in efforts to restore damaged and broken relationships.
Goodwill’s South Augusta Job Connection on May 16 was designated Georgia’s first Station of Hope in the state outside a faith community, followed on May 19 by Goodwill's Helms Career Center in Macon.
DCS Director of Faith and Justice Initiative Tony Lowden says these collaborations are essential to the success of returning citizens.
“We are honored to welcome these Goodwill locations as Stations of Hope. Goodwill has a rich history of not only mending and repairing goods and clothing, but also mending and repairing souls and aspirations. Together, the Department of Community Supervision and Goodwill Industries will expand and fortify a collaborative network that will continue to provide restoration to returning citizens, their families and the communities in which they live,” Lowden said. “This partnership will allow us to better provide education, skills training and workforce development.”
DCS has adopted the “Healing Communities” reentry model and is introducing it to faith and community leaders throughout the state.
“The Stations of Hope help us recall that Goodwill was founded in 1902 by a Methodist minister,” said James K. Stiff, President of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA. “Returning citizens are facing significant barriers to employment, and our Goodwill’s mission of providing career services is especially important for at-risk individuals who need to experience God’s love and mercy through tangible, comprehensive employment services.”
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. praised the new partnership between DCS and Goodwill.
“With no job, no money, and often no place to live, returning citizens find themselves facing the same challenges that landed them in prison,” said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. “Stations of Hope provide a lighthouse to those traveling from the dark moments of their past to a fresh start and a brighter future.”