"Cornerstone Update" From the board September 14, 2015
Nearing the nine month mark, Cornerstone Ministry (CM) has grown leaps and bounds. We have alot of growing yet to take place, but we have met, if not exceeded, our goals thus far.
In the middle of this start-up process, we paused to assist in the transition of Carlos, from prison to the community. Carlos is approaching his fourth month of being removed from prison and is doing exceptionally well. This was not his first visit to prison, but he previously released to the same people, same place, same mindset, and you know how the saying goes. You do the same thing, you will get the same results. Our goal at CM is to help people find a different way thus creating different/ better results.
Carlos was determined this time to change, that is the first step. No matter what a person does for another, if they aren't ready, there will be no change. I believe in Carlos and am certain he won't return. The support CM was able to give would not have been possible without those with a heart to live Christlike. Carlos has also been blessed with loving and supportive neighbors as well as a solid group of support in his Celebrate Recovery group.
Between the self-work Carlos accomplished while in prison, and his continued education, combined with loving support, today he is pretty well 100% self-sufficient. He is working full-time, paying his own rent, saving for a car and has been able to visit his mom regularly, who is in a nursing home. Most important, December will mark three years sober for Carlos. One might think, 'well he was in prison, thats an easy feat.' Let me inform you, there is as much available in prison as there is outside of prison when it comes to drugs. Carlos, himself, has abstained for nearly three years. We couldn't be more proud of him!
Now that Carlos is self-sufficient for the most part, we have returned our focus to the business side of the ministry. Once we raise the fee to file for incorporation, we will file for our non-profit status. Also, there is much work being done behind the scenes by all board members. Our goal by early 2016 is to be pretty well established, able to pour our focus and resources toward a fundraising campaign, enabling us to help more people like Carlos as well as families of inmates with unmet needs.
I will close with two excerpts from The Christian Science Monitor, September 7, 2015 issue, p.22.
"The general philosophy is that you want to reduce the recidivism rate, you should take advantage of the time that someone is incarcerated to improve their skills, so that when they are released they have a better opportunity to get a job. Cost savings is certainly an important (driver of reforms), but most important is saving people's lives in terms of not allowing them to return back to a life of crime, and giving them tools so they can become law abiding citizens." - #NathanDeal Georgia Gov.
"Our crime rate has been dropping for 20 years, yet incarceration rate continues to rise, which means we may be starting to hit a point of diminishing returns." - #JohnMalcolm Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Conservative Heritage Foundation.
Please visit our website to inquire of how you might be able to help us further fulfill the mission to reach the least loved and their families! www.go2cm.org