Oklahoma holds the nation’s highest incarceration rate for women.
When some women leave prison, they feel lost and alone. One organization based out of Tulsa is trying to alleviate those feelings. And now, they’ve expanded to Oklahoma City.
The “Hope House” is a transitional home for women recently released from prison. It’s part of “Stand in the Gap Ministries” that started over 20 years ago.
“At Stand in the Gap we connect people in need with people who care. And we focus on three specific populations - orphans, widows, and prisoners,” said Francois Cardinal, Executive Director of Stand in the Gap Ministries.
Their Women in Transition program starts inside nine Oklahoma prisons and jails.
Formerly incarcerated women who volunteer with Stand in the Gap, teach a 12-week long course, as well as share their own success stories with women still doing time. Once released, the women can move to stage two of the program.
“As they transition out, we connect them to our residential transitional home,” said Cardinal.
Branch 15, the newer transitional home in Oklahoma City, provides a safe place where there is structure and accountability.
Stand in the Gap Ministries also uses volunteers to mentor to the women.
Terri Gordineer has gone through the Women in Transition program.
“I was a widow at 34-years-old after 15 years of marriage. Which lead to some bad decisions, which lead to incarceration. I came to the Branch 15 as a client in September last year. And have since graduated the program, and now I am employed by Branch 15.”
Gordineer is now the Program Manager at Branch 15. She is able to tell her success story, helping impact women currently living in the transition home.
For more information regarding Stand in the Gap and its Women in Transition program click here.
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