From the Executive Director
Our Spring fundraiser in 2022 will be an online silent auction! Watch for more information to come about all the fun and exciting items that will be available for you to bid on.
Thank you for your support!
Click on the image above to become an auction sponsor.
Social Worker Update
Keith Jones, model resident and recent graduate
Keith Jones, a recent graduate of Renascence, did very well in our program and we are proud of him. Because he did so well, he was able to move back with his family in his hometown in South Carolina.
Like most of our residents, Keith was ordered to Renascence by Pardons and Paroles. He didn’t want to come at first, but once he had been at the house for a few weeks, he realized that it would be a great opportunity and ended up loving it. He eventually became house leader, which meant some extra responsibilities and several privileges, such as a room with a private bathroom. He says that while at Renascence he learned “respect, discipline, and more about the 12-steps and sobriety.” He got a second chance at Renascence and called it “a wonderful place.” He was determined to do well because he didn’t want to go back to prison and wanted to be back with his family.
House Superintendent Dereck Wise called him a “model resident”. Dereck says, “He had a positive attitude and was determined to turn his life around. He bought a car, kept a job, and was a hard worker. He always did his chores and helped others in the house.” At first, Keith was frustrated by Dereck’s strict discipline in the house. But in time, he came to realize that he needed the discipline and appreciated it.
He now has a good job in South Carolina that he enjoys. They have already promoted him after just a few weeks. He says it is awesome and amazing to be back with his family. A recent highlight was seeing his 11-year-old granddaughter in person for the first time in several years. It was a joyful reunion.
Art Room Reveal - March 17
Art provides a level of enrichment and self-expression that many of our residents have never experienced before. We believe they can and should enjoy this aspect of life, too. Renascence once had an art program that was discontinued for many years after the teacher could no longer participate. It has long been a dream to get the art programming started for our residents once again, and now that dream is coming true! We are partnering with two groups that are making this possible.
A team from Leadership Montgomery chose Renascence for their project this year. They are making progress on renovating and updating the art room. They are providing funds and labor to clean, organize, and restock the room. They are also looking for potential art teachers. The LM team has already made great progress, as evidenced by these before and after photos.
In addition to the LM team’s efforts, the Alabama Arts Alliance has received a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts to begin offering classes at Renascence. This grant will provide art supplies and teachers in all different types of media, including visual, performance, and literary arts. The Arts Alliance also plans to have an exhibition of the residents’ artwork and writing before August.
We are planning a Reveal event on March 17 at 12:00 p.m. All are invited to see the transformation of the art room on that day!
Come and see the final Reveal in person on March 17 at 12:00 PM
Current Donation Needs
Current Volunteer Needs
From the Executive Director
Thanks to an anonymous donor through the Central Alabama Community Foundation, and the Seekers Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church, we now have five bicycles at the house for our residents to use! These bicycles are making it possible for our residents to get to jobs faster (instead of walking) or to get to jobs further away; to take trips to a store; even to get some exercise. We were also able to purchase repair kits, helmets, and locks. The Montgomery Bicycle Club offered a class to our residents about Bicycle safety and maintenance on September 26. They will continue to offer classes to our residents in the future.
Meet our new social worker
For several years, the staff and board of directors at Renascence have wanted to hire a social worker to offer additional support resources to our residents. Through a grant from the Central Alabama Community Foundation, we were able to finally realize this dream!
Jeronda Bouie was hired in early May and has been an excellent addition to our team since day one. She is a Licensed Master-level Social Worker and brings lots of experience and expertise to her work. She graduated from Troy University and has worked in the social work field for over 17 years.
She provides a psychosocial assessment to our residents to determine their needs and help them identify realistic goals for a successful reintegration into society after they leave Renascence. She assists them with issues such as family reconciliation; obtaining needed medical care and services; job preparation and retention; addiction recovery; and many other developmental needs. She talks with them about their problems and helps them make better decisions. She helps them analyze a situation so they can think it through and understand what the outcomes might be before taking the next steps.
Jeronda has one-on-one sessions with each resident, but she also holds house group meetings for everyone to discuss their good news, their frustrations, and to work out any interpersonal house struggles that might be happening at the time.
She says, “I am passionate about my work, and I view helping others as more of a calling than a job. I am grateful for the opportunity to help the residents learn new skills to help them in making better choices for themselves and to achieve their goals. I aim to strengthen their confidence and increase their self-accountability in a supportive environment.”
In short, she helps them become better prepared to meet the next challenges they will face when they leave Renascence and go back to family and friends.
The residents have these descriptions for her:
We are glad to have Jeronda on board. We believe more of our residents will complete the program with her help
Look how our garden grows!
One of our residents was busy at work this summer planting a garden! Mr. Hickman got his inspiration, instructions, and plants from EAT South. He connected with them when he was going to the bus station downtown. He grew tomatoes, turmeric, jalapeño peppers, carrots, beets, radishes, husk cherries, eggplants, and more! Learn more about Eat South at eatsouth.org.
Leadership Montgomery Project
We are honored and proud to be selected as one of the projects for this year's Legacy Class XXXVIII of Leadership Montgomery! This team will be helping us renovate and restock our art classroom. We plan to offer art classes for our residents once again. If you are interested in teaching art (any medium) to our residents, please call 334-832-1402.
Current volunteer needs:
Current donation needs:
Visit our Volunteer page or contact Susan Hunt Sims at email@example.com or 334-832-1402 to volunteer.
We have started a new program to encourage our residents. When they go above and beyond their normal house responsibilities or help another resident or staff member in an exceptional way, we want to provide them with a small reward. These could be small-denomination gift cards to fast-food restaurants or a store, discount coupons, or items that would be a treat for a resident to have. Prison and the life these guys knew before coming to Renascence were about punishment and restrictions. Renascence is about inspiring and positive motivation.
You can help us collect these items so we can give them away to our residents! Even $5 gift cards will make a difference. Next time you are in a store, pick a few up and stop by the office.
From the Program Manager
We are committed to doing our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery. We have taken these precautions as we know our residents come to us from a high-risk prison environment, and we want to make sure our residents do not unintentionally spread the virus to the general public.
Resident Field Trip
Bobby has also deepened his faith in God in his time at Renascence. He regularly reads his Bible, meditates, prays, and tells the other men about God’s love. He says, “God has brought me a long way from who I used to be.” He is relying on God and that strengthened faith to get him through the tough days ahead when he moves back home. He is depending on God to keep him away from the same people who got him into trouble in the first place. He says he has no desire for alcohol any longer, but if he had not come to Renascence, he would probably be out drinking now.
He is especially grateful for the help he has received from Joe Crowley, the current Renascence board chairperson. Bobby says, “Dr. Crowley has been a blessing. He has a good heart.” Joe has taken him to many doctor’s appointments and has helped him manage his finances.
There are only a few more requirements from the DRC that Bobby needs to complete before he can go home to Georgianna where his mother and many other family members live. He and his parole officer are actively working on ways for him to complete those requirements. He is very ready to move back home, and Renascence will have a good celebration for him when he is finally able to go back there and live a new life.
Come See Our Repainted House
Gift Hope MGM 2020 - December 5
Gift Hope MGM 2020, the 9th annual, community-wide, alternative gift fair, will feature numerous nonprofits, including Renascence, that serve “the least of these” in our community and will offer shoppers the opportunity to make a donation for specific items in honor of another. It's the perfect gift for teachers, colleagues, friends, and loved ones.
This year’s Gift Hope event will be on Saturday, December 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at Cloverdale Park across from the First United Methodist Church. There, “shoppers” will have an opportunity to speak directly with nonprofit representatives, view their displays, and learn more about their missions. (COVID safety precautions will be followed at this outdoor event.)
There is an “online shopping” option as well! Gift Hope shopping is available online at www.fumcmontgomery/GiftHope until December 13. Brief videos featuring each nonprofit, a link to their website, and a shopping menu of gifts are available online.
Renascence Board News
After three-year terms of dedicated service on the Board, Patrick McGinn and Richard Amberg have stepped off to give more time to other responsibilities. With gratitude for their commitment and various contributions to our work, we wish them all the best.
We have been happy to welcome three new Board members in 2020:
Vincent Hall has returned to Montgomery after a 32-year career in Georgia working variously as a law office court specialist and administrator; an HR administrator; and an advocate for repeat youth offenders. In October he assumed the role of board secretary
Kiesha Favor served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. She is currently patient navigator coordinator at Health Services Inc. She participated in Leadership Montgomery’s Torchbearers Course.
Willie J. Miles III comes to us with a 32-year career in the US Postal Service. He is an ordained elder at Fresh Anointing House of Worship. He has been pastor over men's ministry and prison ministry. He is a facilitator and teacher of the Man Up program.
House Work Day