Some 60,000 people are released from state and federal prison each year. The obstacles to successful reentry begin with the challenge of finding a job. Officials here in Houston helped launch a job training program for local ex-offenders.

By: Pat Hernandez, September 18th, 2012 12:10 PM

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The U.S. Dept of Labor awarded SER Jobs for Progress, a 1.2 million dollar grant to provide supports services and technical training to some 400 ex-offenders. They will learn the welding trade.

Houston was the only city in the area to recieve the DOL’s Reintegration of Ex -Offenders grant. Houston congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee helped steer funding at a federal level.

“The frame was set by the Congress willing to first, sign on to legislation that I helped draft, the Second Chance Act, which lays the ground work for stopping recidivism in prisoners on the national level, and then the Department of Labor now under that legislation, can operate training programs that relate to incarcerated persons.”

She says the program focuses on how families of offenders are affected, as they look for jobs and become contributing members of society.

“It is well known and documented that the children of incarcerated persons are more likely to go to prison than other children. When you intervene by giving that adult a lifeline and a job, it stops the idea of children believing there’s no other pathway, but to go to prison.”

Recruitment will be done through SER’s existing partnerships with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies, to mentor and prepare ex-offenders with entry into the labor market.

Karlton Harris with the Sheriff’s Department knows too well the challenges.

“It took me three months after I was released from prison, before I found my first job. But I kept seeking, I was determined to be a law abiding citizen and not result back to that same environment. And I tell people that it doesn’t matter what community you go back to. If you’re changed and you go back into that same community as a changed person, now instead of your environment changing you, you change your environment.”

Welders are needed for the construction of buildings. Diane Schenke is with the Greater East Management District.

“The East End is certainly’s experiencing a Renaissance. What we want to do is make sure that people who are living here currently are part of that Renaissance. And so many people particularly Hispanics, don’t have that high school education that’s really required for them to participate in the Renaissance. So we want them to get the kind of job training it will take, to be part of whether its green jobs or welding.”

Through SER’s first hand experience delivering workforce training programs in the community, it developed an extensive partnership base made up of educational, correctional and employer partners.

Ft. Worth, Texas

Are you an ex-offender or felon who has a question about finding a job with a criminal record? You could have your question answered right here. Email your question to: BelievePublications@comcast.net

Let me suggest a very underutilized resource that an ex-offender can use to find jobs,

One-stop Career Centers . Each state has a network of centers that [Ex-offender in Texas needs job search help]  offer a variety of free services that can get you ready for work and assist you in finding employment. In addition, these centers offer training programs that may prepare you for a career. Some services available are:

Career planning and counseling

Workshops (Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, and related topics.)

Computers with internet access and word processing

Daily access to thousands of job listings

Job-related magazines and local newspapers

Job postings and referrals

Printers, fax machines, phones, and copiers for job search use

There are counselors there whose function is helping citizens gain employment. Many of them have experience working with ex-offenders and felons looking for employment.  There are four such centers in your area.

WorkForce Solutions for Tarrant County-Northside Workforce Center

2100 N Main St., Suite 100

Fort Worth, TX 76164-8572

817-626-5262

WorkForce Solutions for Tarrant County-Northside Workforce Centr

Workforce Solutions – Tarrant County – Westside Workforce Center

2100 N Main St., Suite 100

Fort Worth, TX 76164-8572

817-626-5262

Workforce Solutions – Tarrant County – Westside Workforce Center

WorkForce Solutions for Tarrant County – Eastside Workforce Center

4701 E Lancaster St.

Fort Worth, TX 76103-3835

817-531-7800

WorkForce Solutions for Tarrant County – Eastside Workforce Center

WorkForce Solutions for Tarrant County-Resource Connection Workforce Center

1400 Circle Drive

Fort Worth, TX 76119

817-531-5670

WorkForce Solutions for Tarrant County-Resource Connection Workforce Center

As stated before, there centers often have counselors with experience helping ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs

Welcome Back – A Ministry to Ex-Offenders and their Families

Bellaire Baptist Church

Contact Name: Paul Lively Phone: 806-795-1219

Address: 5514 34th Street City: Lubbock

State: TX ZipCode: 79407

E-Mail: paul@bellairelubbock.org

Description:

BRCC Prison Ministry

Contact Name: Neal & Diane Lange Phone: 210 523 8141

Address: 7506 Alverstone Way City: San Antonio

State: TX ZipCode: 78250

E-Mail: shadow7506@aol.com

Description: A support group for families of offenders and for offenders themselves.

Burning Hope Baptist Church

Contact Name: Jim Parrish Phone: 936-594-3623

Address: P. O. Box 1972 City: Trinity

State: TX ZipCode: 75862

E-Mail: aparrish@txucom.net

Description: Church that ministers to ex-offenders and families.

Citipointe Church

Contact Name: Pastor Gary Taylor Phone: 972-491-7044

Address: 4201 Greenfield Drive City: Richardson

State: TX ZipCode: 75082

E-Mail: mailbox@citipointe.org

Description: www.citipointe.org Ministers to families in ZIP Codes of 75002, 75040, 75041, 75044, 75048, 75074, 75075, 75080, 75081, 75082, 75083, 75085, 75086, 75088, 75094, 75248.

Covenant Fellowship

Contact Name: David Valentine Phone:

Address: PO Box 10769 City: Huntsville

State: TX ZipCode: 77340

E-Mail: dbhvalentine@suddenlink.net

Description: www.cfhuntsville.org Ministries to law enforcement and their families. New starts (small groups and churches) for ex-offenders and their families.

Cowboy Way Church

Contact Name: Dan Haby, Jr. Phone: 817-832-5865

Address: 1465 E Renfro St. City: Burleson

State: TX ZipCode: 76028

E-Mail: cowboydan@juno.com

Description: www.cowboywaychurch.com

Fellowship of Believers Baptist Church

Contact Name: Pastor Julian Davis III Phone: 713-941-5800

Address: 9004 Airport Blvd #404 City: Houston

State: TX ZipCode: 77061

E-Mail: pastor@fobbc.org

Description: www.fobbc.org Ministers to families in ZIP CODES: 77058, 77061, 77062, 77573, 77581.

First Baptist – Marble Falls

Contact Name: Weldon French Phone: 830) 693-438

Address: 501 12th Street City: Marble Falls

State: TX ZipCode: 78654

E-Mail: weldonf@marblefallsfbc.org

Description: www.marblefallsfbc.org

Ministers to ex-offenders and their families.

First Baptist Church

Contact Name: Phone: 936-291-3441

Address: 1229 Avenue J City: Huntsville

State: TX ZipCode: 77340

E-Mail: info@fbchuntsville.org

Description: www.fbchuntsville.org

First Baptist Church

Contact Name: Weldon French Phone: 830-693-4381

Address: 501 12th Street City: Marble Falls

State: TX ZipCode: 78654

E-Mail: weldonf@marblefallsfbc.org

Description: www.marblefallsfbc.org

Gateway Community Church

Contact Name: Eric Williams Phone: 972-442-3140

Address: 1100 McCreary Road City: Wylie

State: TX ZipCode: 75098

E-Mail: eww1840@aol.com

Description: www.gatewayonline.org

Jason Bishop

Contact Name: Jason Bishop – Lead Navigator Phone: 806-594-6221

Address: 3011 68th Street City: Lubbock

State: TX ZipCode: 79413

E-Mail: jason@journeylubbock.org

Description: Lead Navigator

Mercy Heart

Contact Name: Roger Hollar Phone: 817-281-3361

Address: 4805 NE Loop 820 City: Fort Worth

State: TX ZipCode: 76137

E-Mail: roger@mercyheart.org

Description: www.mcercyheart.org A ministry to families of inmates.

Mercy Heart – Burleson

Contact Name: Roger Hollar Phone: 817-295-0134

Address: 500 NE Alsbury Blvd. City: Burleson

State: TX ZipCode: 76097

E-Mail: roger@mercyheart.org

Description: www.mercyheart.org 1st meeting on July 26, 2007 at Alsbury Baptist Church

Mercy Heart – Burleson

Contact Name: Roger Hollar Phone: 817-295-0134

Address: 500 NE Alsbury Blvd. City: Burleson

State: TX ZipCode: 76097

E-Mail: roger@mercyheart.org

Description: www.mercyheart.org First meeting is on July 26, 2007 at Alsbury Baptist Church.

Mercy Heart – East Arlington

Contact Name: David Glaze Phone: 817-277-6721

Address: 415 New York Avenue City: Arlington

State: TX ZipCode: 76010

E-Mail: roger@mercyheart.org

Description: www.mercyheart.org Meets on 1st & 3rd Saturdays (6pm) at Highland Baptist Church.

Mercy Heart – Wills Point

Contact Name: Roger Hollar Phone: 903-848-4011

Address: 30487 State Highway 64 City: Wills Point

State: TX ZipCode: 75169

E-Mail: roger@mercyheart.org

Description: www.mercyheart.org Starts September of 2007 meeting at Brookside Baptist Church

Pastor Bernie Silva

Contact Name: Pastor Bernie Silva Phone: 817-379-7665

Address: 456 Ridgeview Circle City: Keller

State: TX ZipCode: 76248

E-Mail: berniesilva417@yahoo.com

Realization Ministries

Contact Name: Rev. Ray Phone: 971-344-1850

Address: 4110 Green Vista Place City: Round Rock

State: TX ZipCode: 78665

E-Mail: revray@realizationministries.com

Description: A ministry of support and love.

Restorative Justice Ministry Network of Texas

Contact Name: Emmett Solomon Phone: 936-291-2156

Address: 1229 Avenue J, Suite 360 City: Huntsville

State: TX ZipCode: 77340

E-Mail: esolomon@sbcglobal.net

Description: The Network of Welcome Back

San Antonio Baptist Association

Contact Name: Wendell Skinner Phone: 210-525-9954

Address: 5807 I-10 West City: San Antonio

State: TX ZipCode: 78201

E-Mail: wendells@sanantoniobaptist.org

Description: www.sanantoniobaptist.org Willing to minister to those living in San Antonio, Texas

Temple Baptist Church

Contact Name: Robby Ballew Phone: 817-496-4011

Address: 6824 Randol Mill Road City: Fort Worth

State: TX ZipCode: 76120

E-Mail: rballew@templebaptistchurch.net

Description: www.templebaptistchurch.net

The Journey

Contact Name: Jason Bishop Phone: 806-549-6221

Address: 3011 68th Street City: Lubbock

State: TX ZipCode: 79413

E-Mail: jason@journeylubbock.org

Description: Jason Bishop is the Lead Navigator. Willing to minister to those living in ZIP CODES 79401 to 79424.

The Journey

Contact Name: Jason Bishop Phone: 806-549-6221

Address: 3011 68th Street City: Lubbock

State: TX ZipCode: 79413

E-Mail: jason@journeylubbock.org

Description: www.journeylubbock.org Ministers to families in ZIP 79401-79424

Walker County Cowboy Church

Contact Name: Mark Terry Phone: 936-662-4333

Address: 1229 Avenue J City: Huntsville

State: TX ZipCode: 77340

E-Mail:

Description:

Welcome Back Church

Contact Name: Rev. Hank Byrd Phone: 713-819-2258

Address: 3101 Southmore Blvd. City: Houston

State: TX ZipCode: 77004

E-Mail: cwamhope@aol.com

Description: Major ministry of Houston area that trains and starts Life Transformation Groups, ex-offender churches and ministers to ex-offenders and their families.

This list has been compiled by the Harris County Housing Resource Center. If a resource is not listed correctly or you know of one we should include, please email us.

Cossaboom YMCA   (713) 643-2804

7903 South Loop E.

Houston, TX  77012    Men only.

De George At Union Station (Veterans Only)   (713) 224-1418

1418 Preston Avenue

Houston, TX  77002

Downtown Branch YMCA    (713) 758-9250

1600 Louisiana

Houston, TX  77007

The Launch Pad    (713) 661-8882

2656 South Loop West, Suite 578   (713) 667-4629 Fax

Houston, TX  77054   Men only

Moe’s Place   (832) 752-4138

2004 Crocker

Houston, TX  77006

The Women’s Home   (713) 521-3150

607 Westheimer

Houston, TX 77006   Women only

Quick Resources for Emergency Help

Baytown Community Development  (281) 420-5390

Christian Community Service Center  (713) 871-9741

Emergency Aid Coalition  (713) 522-0667

Gulf Coast Community Services  (713) 393-8730

Texas Low Income Housing Counselor

Specialized Housing – Ex-Offenders and Parolees

This list has been compiled by the Harris County Housing Resource Center. If a resource is not listed correctly or you know of one we should include, please email us.

Cossaboom YMCA   (713) 643-2804

7903 South Loop E.

Houston, TX  77012    Men only.

De George At Union Station (Veterans Only)   (713) 224-1418

1418 Preston Avenue

Houston, TX  77002

Downtown Branch YMCA    (713) 758-9250

1600 Louisiana

Houston, TX  77007

The Launch Pad    (713) 661-8882

2656 South Loop West, Suite 578   (713) 667-4629 Fax

Houston, TX  77054   Men only

Moe’s Place   (832) 752-4138

2004 Crocker

Houston, TX  77006

The Women’s Home   (713) 521-3150

607 Westheimer

Houston, TX 77006   Women only

Quick Resources for Emergency Help

Baytown Community Development  (281) 420-5390

Christian Community Service Center  (713) 871-9741

Emergency Aid Coalition  (713) 522-0667

Gulf Coast Community Services  (713) 393-8730

Texas Low Income Housing Counselor

HDHHS Community Re-Entry Network Program (CRNP)

For additional information, including enrollment information, call 832.393.5503 or email hdhhs.reentry@houstontx.gov.

Mission Statement: To work in partnership with the community to assess, plan, and implement effective strategies to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and successfully  assist and support ex-offenders in their transition into productive, contributing members of the Houston Community.

The City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services has developed an innovative program and support system for those that have been incarcerated.  The core program components are case management, job readiness/development and life skills education classes and training to stabilize the participant’s ability to be independent and self-sufficient.  Community Re-Entry Network Program (CRNP) works closely with community agencies to assist participants in getting their needs met.

If you have been through the Criminal Justice System and you want to work hard on yourself, be a provider for your family, become a more productive citizen and give back to your community; then you just might want to give us a try. You have tried others and it just hasn’t worked for you. Contact us at 832-393-5467 or email us at Hdhhs-reentry@houstontx.gov or go to our website http://www.houstontx.gov/education/prisonerreentry.html.  We are also on Facebook as Houston Re-entry and Twitter @COH_CRNP.

For additional information, including enrollment information, call 832.393.5503 or email hdhhs.reentry@houstontx.gov.

Program Components:

We offer a twelve week program which includes:

Two weeks of courses focused on (see curriculum schedule)