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Diamonds in the Rough
Like diamond miners, we deal with many uncertainties, ford uncharted waters, and stumble through the darkened depths, always searching for gems buried deep in the corridors and the cell blocks of prisons in Western Tennessee. Our Guide is very reliable. He directs our steps and commands us to take the chance when we find men who are sincere about making the necessary changes required for them to return as productive citizens. We give Him credit, and draw deep satisfaction when one of those "diamonds in the rough" leaves Forgiveness House as a polished gemstone in His Crown.
 
The bio's that follow are stories of men who have sucessfully made the transition, and are now shining brightly as 10 carat diamonds in the communities to which they returned.

Meet Al S.
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Al continually returns and speaks to the men in residence regarding his faithfulness and his success

Meet Al S. Al was a gang member operating in the Orange Mound area of Memphis prior to being incarcerated; he remained affiliated in the gang even when incarcerated at West Tennessee State Penitentiary. I met Al in 2002 at a Promise Keeper's Chapel call. Over the years, I watched Al slowly transform his mind and heart from the gangster mentality as he sought to become a committed Christian man. In 2004, Al was chosen to attend a Kairos Renewal Weekend and afterward grew in his faith considerably. He became extremely active in the Chaplain's community within the prison, and actively counseled younger gang affiliated inmates that there is a better way of life. Achieiving parole, Al entered Forgiveness House with our first group of men in January 2007. We assisted him in finding a good job, we held him accountable for his actions during his stay, and we helped him through a delicate emotional period as he re-established contact with his 11 year old son. Al has returned to the Memphis community as a re-built man and father to his eleven year old son. Also since leaving our house, Al married in November 2007 and is a responsible husband and step-father to two lovely young daughters. He speaks to church adult and youth groups regarding his conversion and spiritual development while inside, and during the difficult transition time following incarceration. Welcome back, Al.

Scotty
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The best Car Man I'v ever known

Meet Scotty T. I met Scotty at WTSP in August 2008 during another Promise Keeper's chapel call. As with many, our relationship crystalized during the interview, and I was led to accept him to Forgiveness House. He immediately blended right into the family and began servicing our vehicles. He found a job at a Summer Ave. car dealership, and has been employed there since September 08. He is the best car man I 've ever known. After graduating from our program, he rented a small house in the area and services autos for current  and former House family members, does all of my car work, and he is developing a small but satisfied customer base, Scotty hopes to gain his own car lot in the future. If the Lord polishes him like Scotty polishes cars, Scotty will be a magnificent jewel in the King's crown.

Another Polished Gem
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Leonard "Lil Sin" W......one year out and staying out

Meet Leonard W. He arrived in April 2007 from WTSP. At entry, he was withdrawn and quiet. As many men do following incarceration, Leonard struggled to rebuild family esteem and relationships and that failure took it's emotional toll. The pressure to find a decent paying job, pay program fees due Forgiveness House, pay back driver's reinstatement fees and fines, and his monthly Parole fees, fostered an almost hopeless attitude in Leonard. Leonard struggled significantly for a while after leaving, but, the hope we instilled eventually won out. He has landed on his feet. He has married a young woman in May 09 and both are working at the same place and attending church together. Leonard has star power. He is a testimony to what God, the master jeweler, can do in a man's life.

Lawrence
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Meet Lawrence H, Lawrence came to us from Shelby Co. Correctional Facility in June 2008. Lawrence had begun a significant Spiritual turnaround while incarcerated, and became a role model of sorts to the men living at Forgiveness House at the time. He was blessed with a job well suited to his training, however was dismissed when his felony conviction was discovered. He persisted and has been able to remain employed even during the economic downturn of late 2008. He continues to stay in touch frequently, expeiences obstacles as we all do, but relies on faith to carry him through the valleys.

Please help us. We receive modest funding from the TN Dept. of Corrections, and this project is also funded, in part, by the TN  Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. We rely heavily on contributions we receive from you. Statistically, these men will return to prison within 24-36 months without our help. God Bless! You may use credit cards also on the Paypal donation button.

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