Inmates at a correctional facility near Portland, Ore., helped make restitution when they contributed to opening a men’s homeless shelter in the same community where one of them committed his crime.
The seven young men are inmates at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility who were baptized recently. Each said their lives were a dead-end street until they met Jesus, according to Rev. Virgil Michael, pastor of Christ Community Christian Reformed Church near Portland.
Sam Stukey, a member of Christ Community, is one of the volunteers who has spent five years discipling an inmate. That inmate has been discipling other youths, leading to the baptisms.
When the men were looking for a way to give back, Michael pointed them to the new Jubilee Transition Home for homeless men in Tigard, Ore.
The young men pledged money from their prison accounts and will ask neighboring churches to match their gifts. They have asked to have their pictures and testimonies posted on a bulletin board in the new home. They also want to correspond with the homeless men.
The location of the new home drew the inmates to support this project. The leader of the group said in a letter to Michael, “On a personal level, Tigard is where I committed the crime that put me here, so I feel like this is maybe an opportunity for me to pay some restitution and give back to that community.”