Former Grantee Partner Continues Working Hard and Working Wonders
Even a repeat offender can turn his life around for good and for God, given the right skills, support, and caring individuals. Ten-time felon Scott changed his life when he followed his parole agent’s guidance and sought out Partners in Hope (PIH), a faith-based prisoner re-entry program run by Community Warehouse in Milwaukee, Wis.
Community Warehouse, a 2019–21 We Raise grantee, has two locations where they sell high-quality home improvement products to families in Milwaukee and transform lives by providing job skills and authentic mentoring relationships based on biblical principles. In addition, they provide crucial employment for background-challenged individuals.
Scott, 51, got involved with Partners in Hope in April 2022. He explained that PIH teaches everything from getting a driver’s license and developing a good work ethic to getting an apartment and cleaning out a Rolodex full of potentially dangerous contacts. Each participant is paired with a mentor, and everyone gets a new suit when they graduate from the program.
“When I came out of prison I was God-oriented,” said Scott, “but old habits are hard to break. You want things when you want them. I walked through the doors at Community Warehouse—I get goose bumps when I’m telling you this because I can feel the spirit rolling down my back—and I haven’t left. The spirit is so heavy in that building, in those people, it’s everything that I could ever want. God is good.”
Scott had a two-month internship at the Community Warehouse South location before being transferred to the North store, where he now works full time doing a little bit of everything—driving a forklift, taking care of customers, measuring tile and vinyl flooring, selling doors, and working the cash register.
David Krause, Vice President of Development at Community Warehouse, explained that PIH has exceeded expectations. Prior to 2022, they had offered training, mentoring, and employment to about 50 people. This past year alone, over 100 returning citizens graduated from PIH.
“My past attempts to break free didn’t succeed because they were Godless attempts,” Scott explained. “I’ve spent only four Christmases with my family since 1992 because I chose alcohol and gambling over everything.”
In answer to how he would advise other felons to break repeated cycles of crime and incarcerations, Scott said, “It’s all about Jesus. There’s no other way to put it. It’s a daily commitment, step-by-step, trusting the process. These cycles didn’t develop overnight and they’re not going to break overnight.”
He continued, “I want to express my gratitude to We Raise and its donors, because every cent you give is going to a good cause. There’s evidence and testimonies I see daily.”
Thanks to the compassionate resolve and foresight of donors like you, organizations like Community Warehouse can make a marked difference between someone going back to prison or forward to a place where hope is restored and purpose renewed.