Underground Ministries

Prisoner Relationship, Resurrection & ReEntry

“RoLL AWAY THE STONE” FUND & WELCOME HOME BASKET

 

“ROLL AWAY THE STONE” FUND (START NOW)

Many of the “stones”—system barriers to entering the land of the living—can simply be rolled away with a debit card. The wealthy don’t stay stuck in the underground. (Mass Incarceration 101.)

Good news: that’s why we’re here. Jesus calls a community to get behind moving that barrier.

A whole church can (yes) easily round up $2,000 (a modest target we suggest) over the course of a whole year, to have ready for your returning friend’s first month out of prison.

A great way to raise this money and raise awarness and enthusiasm in the congregation outside your OPOP team is to host a “Roll Away the Stone” evening event a few months into this relationship. This is a chance to

  • show a clip of a film about mass incarceration we have in our modules online

  • offer spot testimonies of team members’ experience getting to know our friend and what they’re learning

  • read a portion of his/her letter from prison

  • show his/her face on a projector, or bulletin . . .

  • with a list of these financial obstacles below

  • and preach the story of Lazarus—how resurrection today involves Jesus communities called to help roll these obstacles away

  • invite congregants to give generously to the Roll Away the Stone Fund and share in this work as a body, to roll away the hefty barriers blocking full resurrection

  • show the list for a Welcome Home Basket (below), with a signup sheet for congregants to contribute these small-to-medium-to-larger necessities in the weeks ahead

  • share other ideas, needs, or opportunities for connection that have come up

  • pray for our friend

Here’s our list of the most common the financial barriers to reentry we at Underground Ministries roll away every week in WA State:

Driver’s License

  • Knowledge Test ~$40

  • Driving Test ~$40

  • DOL (Re)Issuing Fee ~$180

Opening Payments in Court Debt Plans

  • Average two different courts, ~$25 each court, for 2-3 months to get them started (to take holds off their licenses)= ~$150

Auto Insurance

  • Often folks with bad driving records are required by law to get the more-expensive SR-22 high-rish insurance. This can be ~$300 per quarter, to start off their legal driving until their eventual employment and income (and budgeting, with your help!) kicks in. Be patient.

First Month’s Rent

  • Hopefully your returning friend and you have found some kind of low-rent program, transitional house, recovery home, or situation. Rent can be $5-600/mo. Save up for two months’ help as they work their early reentry. This is decisive. But only two months, we suggest. $1,000-1,200.

Remember, we always suggest accompanying our friends through this gauntlet of offices and instead of handing hot cash to our friend. Better to bring a church debit card to swipe at those intimidating desks, as a talisman of forgiveness—erasing the barriers and burdens of sin and death.

ITEMS TO GATHER W/ THE CONGREGATION FOR A WELCOME HOME BASKET (OR BIN)

Feel free to copy and paste into a church bulletin, projection slide, or email:

  • Deodorant

  • Toothbrush and paste

  • Soap/bodywash/shampoo

  • Lotion

  • Toiletry kit

  • Small notebook, pen and planning calendar

  • Backpack

  • Bag of new white socks

  • Belt

  • Clothing gift cards to Ross, TJ Max ($300 total)

  • Simple cell phone with prepaid minutes/plan

  • Gift card for something fun to do locally with kids (if he/she has kids)

  • Used car (Don’t try to fit this in the basket! Do not mention this to him/her ahead of time. But it can be a game-changer to have waiting in the wings for once your friend gets their driver’s license and insurance. Pray and ask around the congregation for a member with a used car they could tithe to this person. This is also an opportunity for someone with auto repair/maintenance skills in the congregation to come alongside our friend in tuning up the car together, spending time together.)