What is Grace Ministry of Helping Hands?
Grace Ministry of Helping Hands of Jacksonville, Florida, is a grassroots, hands on program that rescues women on the streets and provides intervention for women recently released from jails and prisons throughout Florida. These women are in the grips of alcoholism, drug addiction and the sex trade, but we share the love of Christ to give them hope and freedom.
We accomplish this goal in the following ways:
Every two weeks, a group of trained volunteers go to areas of town known for trafficking women. These areas include: Philips Highway, Lane & Ramona Avenues and Main Street.
The women are given a bag of toiletries, snacks, and bottled water with a brochure that explains how we can help them and includes our contact information. We offer to pray with each woman and offer a way out. We give her the opportunity to leave the streets with us right then. However, if she does not go with us immediately; we have planted an incorruptible seed.
If a woman decides to go with us, we transport her to a local detoxification facility where she will remain for three to five days. During the detoxification process she will be assessed and released to a residential treatment center or a sober living facility. In either case, Grace Ministry of Helping Hands will meet her at the door and be there for every step of the journey.
SOBER LIVING FACILITIES
One of the most important aspects of a woman's journey to wholeness will be for her to have a safe, sober and structured place to live. A sober living facility is where she begins the discipline of everyday life without the use of mind altering substances. To aid in this process such a facility has mandatory 12 step meetings, random drug testing, accountability measures and curfew.
Many times a woman is arrested because of activities related to addiction. Some of our Grace team have letter writing parties in their homes where volunteers write letters to reach those incarcerated. They write encouraging words and get to know the inmate better. We can find out if she wants our help, what her family situation is, how much education she has, etc. This continues to build the relationship between the woman in jail and Grace Ministry of Helping Hands.
A trained volunteer visits the ladies we have been writing to, if they request a visit. This action further builds trust between our organization and the inmate. On her release date, we are there to pick her up if she has agreed to receive the helping hands of Grace Ministry. We provide clothes, food, and then place her in a sober living facility (see sober living facility description).
We have a group of trained mentors. Each is assigned to a lady of Grace at least twice a month. This mentor helps unravel the problems in this lady’s life one at a time. We use a book by Patricia Miller entitled “Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women,” to help them learn to think correctly (biblically) about different situations.