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City of Faith was originally founded as an opportunity for outreach to a forgotten demographic, offenders. While these men and women serve out their punishments in state and federal institutions, time moves forward without them. They leave behind children, spouses, careers, and opportunities.
American prison institutions currently house over two million justice involved individuals. The average prison sentence for is 60 months for federal crimes and 36 months for state crimes. An estimated 80% of these individuals will commit similar offenses and return to prison within one year of their release.
Because these statistics are unacceptable, we went looking for ways to change this visceral cycle. The simple answer is to provide positive programs that allow justice involved individuals to reintegrate back into society while reestablishing once broken family ties, saving money, and establishing stable employment.
City of Faith makes educational prospects and employment opportunities available to its clients based on their own needs and support network. City of Faith also provides its clients with access to full-time case management staff who help them
one-on-one as they plan for their next steps in life. Whenever possible, we encourage and promote family involvement. In short, City of Faith makes every possible effort to ensure that clients will have the momentum they need to make positive changes even after leaving our program.
Kathy Biedenharn, founder of City of Faith, opened the first City of Faith halfway house, or Residential Reentry Center, in 1985 due to a conversation with an inmate in a Louisiana State Prison. She asked him what she could do for him. With an attitude and a smirk on his face, he replied, “Find me a place to live and a good paying job.” Since that time City of Faith has opened six facilities, four federal and two state. The current locations can be found in Monroe, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas, with its corporate headquarters located in Monroe.
Kathy Biedenharn-Founder