DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - To help men adjust to life after incarceration, Agape Freedom Ministries in Duncan opened a transitional living house late last year.
The Director Tim Jennings said starting over is hard when you only have the clothes on your back. That’s why the Agape House is giving men who have recently been released from jail or prison a new lease on life.
The one year program helps the men who live in the house get the things that we often take for granted like an ID, a job and reliable transportation.
“The only place they had to go was right back to all their old friends, doing drugs,” Jennings said. “Imagine how hard that would be to stay out of that life when that’s surrounding you and you’re living in it, and you can’t really get a job because you don’t even have an ID.”
To keep the men accountable, they have to meet certain requirements like attending church services and recovery meetings every week. They have to get a job and complete chores around the house.
Eight men live there with the House Manager Phillip Wright who helps them with the basics. He said not so long ago, he was in the same position as an addict.
“It’s my work,” Wright said. “It’s me paying God back. There’s not enough work I can do to pay God back for everything he’s done for me, but it’s just, I don’t want to see other people struggle as I did.”
For the tenants, the best part may be the fellowship with one another. Rustin Reynolds has lived there for about three months and said the growth he’s experienced in such a short time is incredible.
“You develop this sense of brotherhood with these men here and it makes a world of difference because they’ve been through the same things that I’ve been through, a lot of similarities,” Reynolds said.
Jennings said all the work is worth it when he sees the young men get on the right path.
“When God changes somebody on the inside,” Jennings said, “that makes all of this possible because then that changes their desires, their wants and he gives them that freedom from that addiction, so they’re not constantly struggling with it the rest of their life.”
Jennings said they’re just getting started. The Agape House is at capacity and they’re planning on opening a second home as soon as possible. If you’d like to donate to the Agape House, you can contact the Agape Freedom Ministries Facebook page.