Mentoring Women Prisoners at The Next Door
Supporting re-entering of women to society
“The Next Door – Chattanooga” is a faith-based pre-release facility for female prisoners transitioning from the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville. Though living in a very-low security, campus-like setting, women served by The Next Door in the Chattanooga area still are considered inmates under State care. The average length of stay is 90-120 days, with some longer. They receive short-term transitional services to prepare them for release. Very few, if any, of these women ever have had a long-term, godly, woman-to-woman relationship. Mentoring provides the last opportunity they will have before returning to their homes, family and society.
First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga was asked to be the catalyst in Chattanooga to raise women mentors for the 42 residents at The Next Door. Women from other churches also are invited to go through our orientation and training class, held regularly on Saturday mornings, which includes a tour of the facility on Moccasin Bend. (Note, The Next Door has no affiliation with the mental institution that also occupies property on Moccasin Bend.) In addition to this, prospective mentors then receive formal State volunteer training, and a wonderful class led by The Next Door’s professional counselors and staff called, “Understanding Women in Recovery”. Then we move on to be a blessing in a way that only one-on-one, or life-on-life ministry in Christ can bring. Meetings are held every Monday night from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
CONTACT: Alan Bonderud, firstname.lastname@example.org and (423) 903-3700 (cell)
WHERE: At The Next Door on Moccasin Bend
WHEN: Monday nights from 6:30 p.m. to7:30 p.m.
WHO: Women serving women
WHY: To fulfill the biblical mandate to, Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV)
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