Through December 2015, Sustainable Alamance has helped place 65 men and women, with criminal histories, into full time employment... up from 6 in 2010. This will represent approximately $1,200,000 in yearly wages, thousands in taxes, dozens of children receiving child support. Out of the 65, we had only 6 return to prison, an 9% recidivism rate, well below state and national averages which hover around 50%.
According to a recent economic impact study done by Elon University students, the economic impact of our work has been amazing. Over the first 5 years of our work Alamance County has seen $3,000,000 in positive economic impact … an ROI of over $10.00 for every dollar invested in Sustainable Alamance. With 2015 numbers included, this translates into well over $4,000,000 in economic impact for our communities.
But let's be clear, all the numbers and wages and tax savings is NOT why we do this. We do this for the following reasons.
1. People matter to God….. all people…… regardless of what we did in the past.
2. God came to visit us to fix what was broken. Remember that Jesus not only healed the lepers' physical illness but he sent them back to the temple… He restored them to the community.
3. Society has been using the wrong ruler to measure the worth and value of people. A person's value is not determined by their economic station in life. People have value because they are God's creation.
4. Just as important…… lives are being changed, families are being restored, men are becoming fathers, and they all have a chance to show the community what a changed life looks like.
CrossTown Farm, will help bring people from all parts of our community into the work of healing people and community. This urban farm business will provide a way to create jobs, build relationships with individuals and within the community, and help provide locally produced, healthy food that can be provided for the parts of the community that have the highest rates of diet related illnesses.
Imagine men that have been selling drugs now selling healthy food into the same neighborhoods they used to victimize! Imagine neighborhood picnics in areas that families would not dare to engage neighborhoods. We not only restore lives but families and neighborhoods using healthy food.
Jobs for Life
The Jobs for Life job readiness training course for adults incorporates biblical truths and stories to help men and women understand their dignity and God-given identity and gifts, develop character, and foster a supportive community that will equip them for work and life. This method, combined with soft skills training, has proven to enable unemployed and underemployed men and women to find and keep meaningful employment.
CORE CLASS COMPONENTS
In addition to job readiness skills, students will gain a biblical understanding of their identity and value. We are made in God’s image with unique skills and abilities. He loves us, has a purpose and plan for our lives, and wants to be in relationship with us.
Students will have the opportunity to develop strong character. Following God’s design for us to live in faith, perseverance, obedience, and love allows us to rise above difficult circumstances and develop strong character. Character is the most important feature we can offer our employer.
In addition to the training, every JfL student has a JfL champion (a mentor or a group of mentors) who provides the student friendship and support both during the training and following graduation. With this training and support system, churches and community organizations provide a reliable, trustworthy workforce to meet the pressing employment needs of companies in their area.