NEW BEGINNINGS NEEDS MATCH FUNDS
By LORETTA FULTON
New Beginnings-Big Country, a ministry that provides transitional housing and enrichment programming for women who are leaving incarceration, needs help to meet a challenge grant that will allow the ministry to purchase a house it currently rents.
An anonymous grant of $75,000 will be given to New Beginnings if a matching $75,000 is raised by February. Total cost of the six bedroom, three bathroom house is $161,000. To date, $7,135 has been donated toward the $75,000 needed for the matching grant.
“It would be such a blessing to have a house paid for,” said Missy Denard, founder of New Beginnings-Big Country. “It would free up a good amount of money that NBBC could channel into other areas.”
The house has been home to hundreds of women over the past seven years, Denard said, as well as the site of parties, baptisms, Bible studies, and more.
New Beginnings-Big Country is a Christian-based transitional program for women coming out of jail, prison or other types of bondage. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has approved New Beginnings-Big Country as a transitional placement residence.
New Beginnings opened its first home nine years ago and currently operates three homes and an eight-unit apartment building. New Beginnings has served more than 800 women since its inception in 2010 and currently houses 35 women.
New Beginnings-Big Country is raising funds to meet a matching grant in order to purchase the house in the bottom photo, which is currently rents. Other photos show life at the home, including a baptism in the backyard pool. Photos courtesy New Beginnings-Big Country
The acceptance process begins, as a rule, while women are incarcerated. They are screened through letters written to the ministry, with 45 currently on a waiting list. Upon acceptance at New Beginnings, residents are required to make a one-year commitment to the program where they are taught various life skills, financial responsibility, participate in Bible study, and have access to mental health care and mentoring.
“Once we have helped them obtain the necessary documents, we provide assistance in finding employment,” Denard said, “so they can meet their financial obligations such as child support, probation or parole fees, as well as the minimal rent they are required to pay as a part of them becoming self-sufficient, personally accountable members of society.”
Currently, 22 volunteers support the operation, from teaching classes, to transportation, to helping operate InnerCreations, a resale boutique and gift shop operated by New Beginnings-Big Country.