Happy New Year! January 2022 has ushered in many exciting new changes at Christian New Creation Inc. (CNC), so we are writing this update at the end of the month rather than the start so that we can share with you all of the details on what is happening at CNC.
The CNC board continued its planning of the capital campaign launch in 2021. As a part of this initiative, Fallon Philanthropy Advisors was engaged at the end of the year to guide CNC in its efforts to prepare for the growth of the program. CNC is also consulting with an architect to get precise numbers on the funds needed to expand the Isaiah House campus to accommodate greater numbers as we seek to expand our impact. We look forward to sharing more details in 2022.
Family Reunification Program Report
Family reunification is an important component of the CNC program. It is essential for our residents to both make amends and grow their network of support. Thus, the CNC Family Reunification Program began in August 2021 and will run through at least June 2022.
In 2021, CNC awarded a total of $10,465 to residents in our program. Eight (8) grants were awarded for family travel and totaled $2,400. Thirty-two (32) grants were awarded for more than 70 Christmas presents sent by residents to family members and totaled $3,815. Four (4) other grants, totaling $4,250, were awarded: one for the relief of a resident’s family member; one for transition from a CNC house to an apartment; one where a family’s debt was forgiven after they committed to payment of CNC resident fees; and one for moving expenses/apartment rental and deposit for a family at risk of homelessness.
ReRack ReStore Celebrates Its First Year in Operation
Launched in Q4 of 2020, ReRack ReStore not only makes good use of surplus gifts-in-kind but also gives residents a chance to gain useful work experience and raise funds that support CNC. You can shop in person at the store located at 11298 Homestead Rd, Houston, TX 77016.
Thanksgiving in October
CNC invited volunteers and supporters to an outdoor luncheon with the help of Kolbe Prison Ministries volunteers. His Excellency Italo Dell’Oro, Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston, and many of our past board members and former residents joined us as we recognized our founder, Father Ron Cloutier, who joined us for a beautiful day. You can view photos and read more about the event here: cnchouses.org/thanksgiving-in-october-2021
Isaiah House Kitchen Remodel
The winter storm did not keep CNC residents down. After 12 years of use, the Isaiah House kitchen was in need of a remodel, and it was the CNC residents who designed and installed the donated cabinets and countertops. You can read more about the March 2021 remodel and view photos here: cnchouses.org/isaiah-house-kitchen-remodel.
New Website and Logo
To reach and transform the lives of as many ex-offenders as possible, Christian New Creation launched a partnership with Engine Communication, a marketing communications agency that offers discounted rates for nonprofits in the Houston area, to design a new website and logo for CNC. The partnership is ongoing as we grow our communications both online and offline. If you haven’t already, be sure to share our new website address (the old website address will still automatically redirect to cnchouses.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/cnchouses) with your friends and family. It’s a simple and easy way to support what we’re doing here at CNC!
Former Resident “a Godsend” after Winter Storm
Like most everyone around Houston, CNC lost water and power due to the winter storm in February. While Providence House made it through in good shape, Isaiah House’s heated water systems suffered extensive damage in several buildings. When plumbers across the area were inundated with requests for service, CNC was able to call up Ed, a former resident who now works for an A/C company, to come out and piping, valves and a heating unit. “Ed has saved us many dollars in the past,” said Tony. “His efforts on this have been a Godsend.”
Remembering “Bob” Naughton
CNC board member and supporter Bob Naughton passed away on February 7, 2021. Bob and his wife Peggy were involved with prison ministry since his retirement from NASA in 2004. We miss Bob and are grateful for Peggy’s continued support of CNC. You can read more about Capt. Robert Naughton, USN (Ret.) on our website: cnchouses.org/remembering-bob-naughton.
Remembering Mary Lillian Sedbrook
Mary was a great lady and social worker at St. John Vianney’s Joseph Coat and passed on August 4. “Mary was a great sponsor of Isaiah and Providence Houses and was one the the reason we were able to start the clothing store at ReRack,” said Tony VanDerbur. “She made sure that the men had clothing to start their journeys on.” You can read more about Mary in her obituary: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/houston-tx/mary-sedbrook-10296939.
If you would like to make a gift to CNC in Mary’s name, you may do so on our website by including a note with your PayPal donation: cnchouses.org/how-to-help/#donate.
Looking Ahead in 2022
Remembering Carl A. Davis
On New Year’s Day, Carl A. Davis passed away. Carl and Lois Davis have been some of CNC’s greatest supporters over the years and have supported countless faith-based ministries in the Houston area. You can read more about Carl’s faith and charity in his obituary: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/houston-tx/carl-davis-10511121.
If you would like to make a gift to CNC in Carl’s name, you may do so on our website by including a note with your PayPal donation: cnchouses.org/how-to-help/#donate.
Resident Survey Results Are In!
Kevin Rung, advisor to the CNC board, conducted a resident survey December 17 – 19, 2021. Of the 28 distributed forms, 18 were returned for a 64% overall response rate. The responses are both useful and necessary to the board as CNC embarks on its next phase of growth. Residents share with CNC about how the program has benefited their lives, the challenges they have experienced, changes that would be helpful as well as their thoughts regarding the program.
83% of the responding residents indicated that they benefited from the mentorship program. Of those who said that they benefited from the mentorship program, 100% indicated that they benefited spiritually. This is great confirmation that CNC is transforming lives through Christ!
61% of the responding residents indicated that they made use of parole runs. When an ex-offender is released under supervision, they must report to their parole officer. As many of our residents do not have their own source of transportation, they rely on CNC to get them to their appointments on time. “I’m never late,” wrote one of the residents.
72% of the responding residents indicated that they made use of Wal-Mart runs. The freedom to be mobile enough to get back on their own two feet is essential for newly-released ex-offenders. “It helps a lot,” responded one of the residents. “I get a ride to Wal-Mart every week,” wrote another.
78% of the responding residents indicated that they benefited from church runs. For one resident, church runs are frequent while another says that he is “getting used to it.” Helping the men get plugged into a church community is an essential component of the CNC program.
Most residents do not have aftercare mandated by the parole board, yet 28% of the responding residents indicated that they benefited from aftercare runs.
As you can see, CNC’s programs are essential to the well-being and growth of ex-offenders released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Without the emotional, spiritual and mentor support of CNC staff and volunteers, ex-offenders face one obstacle after the next as they are confronted with the opportunity to change their lives and give back to the community.