On the rural north side of Tallahassee, the outstretched arms of Good News Outreach’s Mercy House welcome formerly incarcerated men as they begin the journey toward becoming contributing members of society. With the help of Good News Outreach volunteers, the men of Mercy House meet challenges head-on as they begin the process of making their own decisions and building lives on the other side of the barbed wire. In partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections, Mercy House’s six-to-nine month program attempts to replace the negative and hopeless environment these men have endured with a sense of concern, courage, and Christian love.
Upon successful completion of the program, it is common to witness these men create fulfilling, independent lives and avoiding incarceration. A majority of program participants never return to prison. Over the years, hundreds of men have found their way out of their previous existence and are living productive, positive lives. Mercy House “graduates” are employed in locations throughout the region, and many have found the support and love of family and friends. This is all made possible through the caring, generous support of our staff, volunteers, and local community members who support the efforts of the Good News Outreach prison transition program with practical, spiritual and monetary donations.
Gabriel’s Thanksgiving Story
I was released from prison on Thanksgiving Day 2019. It was a cold day in Tallahassee. I was pleased to be free after serving a five-year sentence, but I did not know what the future would hold for me. I was 25 years old and had nowhere to live; I had no clothes, no possessions, and no friends.
That is until my mother made contact with Dale White at Mercy House. Dale picked me up and helped me get settled in. He helped me get clothes, get a bus pass, and got me to long-overdue medical appointments.
Today I have so much to be thankful for. I am up and out of the house every day. I go to church and to Bible study. I am studying for my GED and taking classes at REFire. I am also learning to cook. At this point in my life, I feel safe, loved, and welcome. I am growing spiritually and excited about what my future will look like in 2020.
We want to welcome Dustin to the Good News Outreach family. He is a resident at Mercy House, but he is always in and out of the GNO office, looking for ways to help. He has been helping in the pantry, doing maintenance at Mercy House, helping some of our seniors, and taking a class at ECHO. We wish Dustin the best of luck, and we are happy to give him our support!