Launching Into Our Next Season
I have such good news!
As you may know, the support that the Better Life Team offers to offenders is managed and funded through something called an "FCRP (Faith Community Reintegration Project) contract."
Over a year ago that contract term ended and "came up for bid"—in other words, we (and any other interested parties) needed to put in proposals for the contract going forward.
Better Life duly submitted a proposal . . . and waited, and waited, and waited! In fact, we had to submit a second proposal at the end of 2021 because of ambiguous language in the original Request for Proposal (RFP) that invalidated the process. Thankfully, we were able to keep operating without interruption under temporary contract extensions for the duration.
Well…it’s a pleasure for me to announce that Better Life was again awarded the FCRP contract!
The current government contract now extends into the Spring of 2024. This means that we can continue to invest in providing the invaluable support required for healthy reintegration.
We always say at Better Life that our commitment is to support the men and women who are in, and are coming out of, Corrections. However, as a Correctional Service Canada contractor, we have access to the prisons and halfway homes beyond that granted to a purely volunteer-based organization. This has truly been a gift through the pandemic, in particular.
The value of what Better Life does was reinforced to me recently as a brand new parolee, CI, was welcomed into his halfway house in Surrey.
CI’s Better Life Team support chaplain, Glenn, and I visited to be introduced to the new manager of CI's halfway house and then we drove CI to a nearby church that Better Life has begun a partnership with (we provide the church and its mentors and volunteers with training and support.)
I listened as CI told the pastor his story. A story that includes being released from prison previously, but with no community support. CI had breached the conditions of his parole and was sent back into prison, where he met Glenn—and through Glenn, recognized Jesus, and surrendered his life to Him.
As CI met with the pastor, he talked about the strength that his faith now gives him—but also, how he would not be connecting with this church on his own, or at the very least how much more difficult and intimidating it would be.
Instead, there we all were! CI, the pastor of the church, Glenn and myself talking about the intentional steps that CI can take to experience the strength and support of a church to help him continue to grow in his relationship with Jesus and to experience a very different direction for his life.
I realize that many of you that we connect with through this Better Life Blog are members of faith communities that provide support for parolees. We’re grateful for you!
If your faith community doesn’t yet have access to Better Life’s online training, which we are continuing to develop, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to provide it for you.