TLC Celebrates Another Year of Service

Written by Scott J. Sheely on Sunday - October 24, 2010.

Lancaster:  On October 19, the Transitional Living Center celebrated another year of service to homeless people in Lancaster County at its Annual Dinner.  Doug Hopwood, Program Coordinator of TLC, and Bob Thomas, President of Community Services, recognized the Lancaster County Association of Realtors, Marine Chaplain Lewis Alston, Kari McLaughlin, and Joe Mills for their service.  More than 400 people attended the banquet.

TLC currently has four priorities - ex-offenders, veterans, families, and the general population.  Last year with 51 rooms, the organization served 111 households including 275 people with 72% of participants moving into permanent housing.  More than 500 people attended Life Skills Classes.  Twenty-three families participated in the Emergency Shelter program while 11 ex-offenders were residents.

For more information, contact Doug at 717-397-3034 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sex Offenders in the Pew

Written by Scott J. Sheely on Sunday - October 17, 2010.

Christianity Today, October 17, 2010:  According to a recent article in Christianity Today, the U.S. Department of Justice's Sex Offender Registry includes the names and locations of 549,000 persons convicted of or charged with sex crimes. The odds are that if you are reading this article, you have come into contact with a sex offender or a victim, whether you know it or not. This in itself may account for the emotionally charged responses to sex offenders.  Click here to download a copy of the article.

In April 2010, Christianity Today International (CTI) conducted a national survey of 2,864 people, including ordained church leaders (15 percent), church staff (20 percent), lay members (43 percent), and other active Christians (22 percent). Respondents were drawn from the readers of CTI publications and websites. The purpose of the "Sex Offenders in the Church" survey was to explore attitudes and beliefs on whether to allow sex offenders to participate in faith communities. The survey explored what practices churches use to keep their congregations safe when sex offenders are welcomed.

Pastors, lay leaders, and churchgoers overwhelmingly agree that sex offenders who have legally paid for their crime should be welcomed into churches. In fact, 8 in 10 respondents indicated that registered offenders should be allowed to attend church under continuous supervision and subject to appropriate limitations.

From Arrest to Homecoming

Written by Scott J. Sheely on Sunday - October 17, 2010.

Washington:  In September, the National Reentry Resource Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice presented a webinar entitled "From Arrest to Homecoming: Addressing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents".  The webinar provided useful statistics as well as a review of tips and suggested models for keeping parents in touch with kids.  Considerable attention was given to special populations.  For a downloadable copy of the presentation in PowerPoint form, click here.

Peer Support in the Spotlight

Written by Scott J. Sheely on Saturday - October 02, 2010.

Washington:  Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration partners with other federal agencies, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and communities across the country to sponsor National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month).

This month's observance provides important recognition of the societal benefits of addiction treatment, lauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery is possible. Recovery Month is also an opportunity to highlight the critical role that peer recovery support services play in helping individuals reach and sustain recovery from substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Increasingly, peer recovery support services are being offered in conjunction with professional treatment services and mutual aid as part of a continuum of care for individuals with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Peer recovery support services can be particularly important for justice-involved individuals as they return from incarceration to the community, engage in treatment, and identify community-based pro-social supports.

Support Group for Families of Incarcerated Persons

Written by Scott J. Sheely on Saturday - October 02, 2010.

Lancaster:  A new Prison Support Group for friends and families of folks who are in prisons will meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month beginning in October at Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S. Duke Street in Lancaster, PA.  The group is free and confidential and strives to keep families strong while loved ones are incarcerated.  Click here for a downloadable registration form.

This program is sponsored by the CJS (Criminal Justice System) Co-Ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church and St James Episcopal Church.  For more information, call Pastor Sadie Pounder at 397-2734.