Dismas House, one of the largest reentry programs in Tennessee, announced it has received a $12,500 discretionary grant from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) to assist in the purchasing and filling of basic needs backpacks and food for its residents who are men recently released from incarceration.
Upon arrival, each new resident of Dismas House is supplied with a welcome backpack filled with three days of clothing, a pair of shoes or boots, a coat, toiletries, a few household items, and snacks. Meals are provided daily and supplemented by volunteer-led Community Dinners during the week. In addition to providing shelter, food, and the welcome backpack, all of which gives our residents the secure and stable foundation needed to adjust and grow to life after incarceration, they are also given access to public transportation.
Upon receipt, one resident, Corey, expressed his gratitude for the supplies. “This is above and beyond what I could have ever expected.”
The receipt of these funds from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will assist Dismas House in meeting one of its Four Pillars of Programming for its residents – Basic Needs.
The Community Foundation awards discretionary grants annually from its unrestricted and field-of-interest funds through an open application process to Middle Tennessee nonprofits organizations addressing community needs and benefiting the well-being of citizens through valuable programs and innovative services.
“Seventy-five percent of those leaving incarceration have very little family or community support. They leave with a net bag filled with whatever they had in their possession as well as khakis, shoes and white t-shirts,” said vice president of operations Phillip Hill. “When new residents are shown their rooms with 3-4 days of clothes, shoes, a backpack, they often express relief.”
“This grant assists these men gain self-esteem, trust and the feeling that they are truly cared for by Dismas House and the Community Foundation.”
About Dismas House
Established in 1974 by the late Father Jack Hickey, a Vanderbilt University chaplain, Dismas Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that services formerly incarcerated men. The mission of Dismas House is to improve lives and strengthen communities by providing the formerly incarcerated with holistic reentry programming that breaks the cycle of incarceration. Dismas House is a residential reentry program that serves men returning to the community directly from all state prisons and county jails throughout Tennessee. We have two core programs – our main reentry program with 56 beds and our independent living program with 16 individual housing units.
Using our researched-based Four Pillars of Programming – Basic Needs, Health & Well Being, Life Skills and Legal Support – we have the capacity to serve over 175 residents each year. Our vision is to set the standard for reentry programming.
For more information about Dismas House, visit dismas.org.