After much discussion and prayer on the part of both groups, Stability First is pleased to announce that they have joined forces with Foundations to grow and expand the vision that both groups have for reaching and serving men in Morgan County. At a board meeting earlier this summer, Stability First board members and Foundations leaders met to solidify their mission and goals, concluding the meeting with the election of three former Foundations officers as new Stability First board members. The newly elected board members include Jamin Baxter, Kevin Mock, and Jennifer Mock.
What is the Foundations? They are a group of individuals who have been working with individuals both inside the Morgan County Jail and in community-based addiction recovery programming for as long as five years. The jail-based program, the Residential Substance Abuse Program (RSAP) is a 90 day intensive therapeutic, evidence-based addiction treatment program, which also includes developing social skills, job readiness skills, and work on personal relationships. Opportunities for spiritual growth are also available. All programming is designed to assist inmates in their successful recovery when they are released.
After volunteering in these programs for a few years, some of those involved began to notice a reoccurring pattern. While in jail those in the RSAP program did very well, making good progress in their goals and commitment to recovery. But once released, if they did not have stable housing and other supportive services, the transition into living strong sober lives was hard to achieve. The Magdalene House offered recovery programming, supportive services, spiritual guidance and the needed accountability for women. But something similar was needed for men. The group started meeting in 2014 and formally incorporated in 2017 for the purpose of “providing Christ-centered transitional housing, discipleship and life skills training that equips former inmates to walk with God and lead a stable and productive life.” They have been steadily working on developing a core curriculum and program-related processes and materials over the last few years.
Stability First board member, Pastor Rick Miller, has been working with men, in a non-residential counseling and discipling ministry for many years. He sees the need and is thrilled to have others with a similar vision and plan for addressing that need come on board. Rick shared, “It is a very exciting time for all of us as we acknowledge how God has been working behind the scenes to merge these two ministries for His glory and the benefit of many people in our community. Consolidating our gifts, passions and resources will provide the synergy needed to make sure that the men desiring this type of ministry will have access to the best possible path forward. We are no longer two ministries but one, and that is a ‘God thing’.”
The new Stability First ministry has adopted the name “Foundations”. An important distinction about this ministry is that it is envisioned to be a 2nd level program. This means that the program and related facilities will not be for emergency shelter. Instead, the program is being designed for men who are willing to make a commitment to a specific program and set of goals, both spiritual and practical. All participants will complete an application process before admission.
Stability First now has an eleven-member Foundations Advisory Team actively working in three task forces: policies & procedures, programming & staffing, and property acquisition. A separate fund has been established specifically to support the structural, training and other needs associated with making a transitional housing facility for men operational. The Pike Street House, a two-bedroom home donated to Stability First initially as housing for men, has been sold with the donor’s blessing. This money, along with funds raised by the original Foundations group, will serve as seed money for a larger facility capable of housing approximately 16 men. Stability First Foundation volunteers are currently working with approximately 15 – 20 men who would be good candidates for this program and facility.