Great Gatsby Gala is More Than a Party

Posted On 08/16/2013 03:34:45 by Grapevine

City Walk Urban Mission & Tallahassee Grapevine Invite You To Attend the Great Gatsby Gala to help

Reduce Recidivism: Invest in Your Community


It's not just a party, it will change lives

 Great Gatsby Gala


I found out some amazing facts recently about Florida's prison population. In 2011, the Florida Department of Corrections housed about 102,000 inmates in it's 63 prisons - this does not include jails or federal prisons. This costs taxpayers nearly $2.4 billion every year.


Did you know that the population of Florida almost tripled between 1970 and 2009, but the Florida prison population grew over 11 times during those same year?


In Florida, 1 out of every 31 adults are incarcerated or on probation or parole right now! We rank 3rd in the nation for prison population after California and Texas.


Florida's recidivism rate is 33% with 3 years of release. Which means 1 out of every 3 inmates released end up returning to prison within 3 years. This increases to 65% after 5 years.


Fixed costs aside, it costs almost $20,000 per year directly per inmate every year.


There are many reasons why inmates end up reoffending, most are not "criminal-minded" but end up in stressful or desperate situations and they do not know how to deal with it.


There are a lack of acceptable and effective programs for ex-convicts once they are released back into society. Many people believe it is the government's job to reintegrate an offender... but honestly, they had the same offender for years while they were incarcerated - why couldn't they rehabilitate them then?

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City Walk staff and homeless clients


The government is not the answer to solving the problem, the answer is the Church and the Community. 


Think about it... if you got arrested and did not make bail, before you were even convicted and awaiting trial you most likely lost your job, your house, your belongings and your vehicle since you could be in jail for up to a year. Now imagine you are sentenced to 3 years in prison - would your spouse wait for you? Your children? If your spouse leaves you, then the children will be right behind - hurt that you left them and being fed hatred from your ex.


When you are finally out, you are obsolete - you have not kept up with changing technology and basically have to relearn any skills you had before. 


Many offenders no longer have family to turn to and have 2 choices: homelessness, or contacting old friends or prison buddies that could lead them down the same path to offending again - drama, drugs or alcohol.


In this economy, jobs are scarce and jobs are even scarcer if you have a criminal history. Making it on your own requires money for rent, bills, food and transportation - but without money, people (especially men) get desperate and make bad decisions - from stealing an apple to eat to turning back to drugs to make the stress go away. Stress and shame from not being able to provide for yourself or your children can also lead someone to do something out of desperation.


Many offenders end up back in prison due to technical probation violations, like forgetting an appointment with their officer or being 5 minutes late for curfew because of traffic. This clogs our court and prison system, and puts the offender back on the path of desperation as they lose everything yet again.


It is a never-ending cycle that does not need to be this way. The government is failing us if it believes 65% recidivism is acceptable.


Renee Miller with two wonderful clients and people


This is why City Walk Urban Mission has the goal of opening a transition program for up to 30 men recently out of prison.


This program is reserved for men recently out of incarceration or rehab that have a desire to make the transition into the community. They will live in monitored housing in a Christian family setting. City Walk will assist in mentoring, counseling, providing a church home, employment opportunities, classes, addiction recovery, mental health evaluations and treatment (if necessary) and help to reconnect and reintroduce them to family in an patient, non-threatening manner. 


Through a variety of classes and supportive Christian fellowship, they assist in strengthening each man's practical as well as spiritual walk. Participants must bring total honesty and a commitment to change to the program and accept personal responsibility. City Walk believes that it is only through the power of God and faith in Christ Jesus that any person can receive the strength to overcome sin and the weaknesses of the flesh. It is the hope of City Walk that all residents will be drawn by God into a relationship with Him and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior during their time here.


Each resident would have his own small room with a bed, dresser and mini-fridge. They will have access to a common area and a kitchen. Each resident will work with a volunteer mentor as an accountability partner who will also work with them on a budget plan.


There is already a waiting list with more inquiries coming daily ... the only obstacle is funding. City Walk needs to raise an additional $40,000 to open the transitional housing facility and they need your help.


Imagine not only saving a man's future, but reuniting him with his children, creating an asset to society and saving his soul, all at the same time. Plus, since the program houses 30 men at a time and most will be in the program 8 to 12 months - that means about 40+ will graduate every year - which translates to $800,000 in yearly taxpayer savings (off incarceration in prison alone, not to mention court costs, or probation and jail expenses.)


Mother Theresa said, "If you can't feed 100, then feed just 1."  We realize that 40 men out of 55,000 that are likely to reoffend may not seem like it matters - but it matters to that one man, it matters to his children and it matters to God.


The Great Gatsby Gala is not only a fun night, with dinner, gambling and saving money for cool stuff at the silent auction - all with a 20's speakeasy theme - it is literally a party that will change lives forever.


Thursday, August 29th, Capital City Country Club will be transformed so that lives can be transformed.


Come in your best 20s-era clothes (Not sure what to wear? Click Here) and with an open mind and heart to help make this facility a reality - because these men don't need to spend another night in a tent.




Get Tickets Online by Clicking Here



City Walk's motto is "Every Saint has a Past. Every Sinner has a Future" and they really take this to heart. People can change. Every person is worth the effort.


If you know someone that could benefit from this program, or if you would like to become a mentor, please call Renee Miller at (850) 528-3909 to get more information.


Of course, your donations of unwanted items and purchases at the City Walk Thrift Store also goes toward opening the home. The store is located at 1351 Thomasville Road, just North of 7th Avenue.



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