Victories Against Great Odds – Wisdom for Muskegon

WoodsonVaried experts with years of experience and “earned” insights have comments featured in the Winter 2017 journal Philanthropy, a publication of Philanthropy Roundtable. Solutions to serious social problems aren’t just in innovative programming. The following are insights of Robert Woodson, founder of the Woodson Center.

We think this is wisdom for Muskegon and we are greatly encouraged that Bob underscores the core values of 70×7 Muskegon that are the tools for transformation.

….The brave philanthropists and committed community activists who risked all to wage campaigns to eliminate slavery and devastating alcohol addiction took it upon themselves to attack huge, widespread, and deeply rooted ethical problems. It was against seemingly insurmountable odds that they pursued their vision and prevailed.

In my work over four decades with neighborhood leaders ministering to seemingly hopeless individuals, I have witnessed similar victories against great odds. It’s true that the poverty and social problems that stem from bad choices like substance abuse and criminal behavior are deeply rooted. No amount of income distribution, safety nets, or government programs will be a sustainable difference in the status of people ensnared in these behaviors. To reclaim their lives they need new vision, character qualities, and values.

That kind of internal transformation is possible, but it can only be engendered by community-based (often faith-inspired) personal relationships. The good news is that hundreds of committed, indigenous neighborhood leaders are providing this kind of life-transforming outreach. Once grassroots leaders have sparked an internal conversion, even men and women who had virtually lost their lives can emerge as responsible employees, spouses, and parents.

To fully harness the power of transformative neighborhood healers requires that we recognize and support a new brand of “experts”—operating in civil society rather than government agencies or the ranks of certified professionals. America is ripe for revitalization of values. But this must be led by mentors and healers who personally understand the problems they address and have a stake in their solutions.

Thanksgiving Overflowing!

The donors, staff, volunteers, prayer warriors, and community supporters are why 70×7 Life Recovery Muskegon will celebrate a Great Thanksgiving. Thank you!!! In less than 9 months, people like Nate Johnson have made second chances, third chances and more Reality for prisoners returning to Muskegon.

Their HOPE is real. Their futures have promise.

I’m a Living Testimony to Don’t Give Up

“My focus and my life story are about giving hope,” says Nate Johnson, who spent 12 years in a Michigan prison. He is one of the speakers for The Truth event on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Muskegon.

Nate Johnson started to turn his life around years ago as a young adult confined inside the rather mundane walls inside a Michigan prison.

This week, the man now in his mid-30s will be giving a speech inside the historic and majestic walls of the Frauenthal Center in hopes of helping others who may be facing some personal challenges of their own.

Nov 3 – Annual Banquet – Answering the Call

“Answering the Call” – 70×7 Muskegon Annual Banquet

Thursday, November 3, 2016, (5:30 pm Reception, 6:00 pm Dinner)
The Event Center | Fricano Place
Join 70×7 Muskegon: Christ Centered, Job Anchored Prisoner Re-Entry in Muskegon, MI. “Answering the Call” to be a community of second chances… one story, one relationship, one day at a time.

Learn More

Oct 13 – The Truth – Honesty About Life

What: The Truth – Honesty About Life
When: Thursday at 7 PM – 9:30 PM
Where: Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave Ste 200, Muskegon, Michigan 49440
Presented By Mercy Health

Join Andy O’Riley, Nate Johnson and National Best Selling Author Anny Donewald for an open an honest discussion about addiction, crime and human trafficking. All three have been to the bottom and now, work to help others come out of, or avoid the failures they went through. This event will be free to the community. Sponsorship is welcome to help the costs of the theater and any proceeds will go to 70×7 and Eve’s Angles. The event is sponsored by Mercy Health.

Ex-cons vs. law enforcement: An unlikely match up on the court

Two teams, one unlikely connection.

Ex-convicts and law enforcement faced off on the basketball court Saturday night at Reeths Puffer High School, but in place of animosity was a mutual respect for men turning their lives around and for those doing their jobs to help them.

See MLive Article

Mentors are the friends who walk alongside returning prisoners

Mentoring and solid work readiness training equip successful transition from prison to the workplace and community.

Mentors are the friends who walk alongside returning prisoners transitioning to work and community. Mentors are a critical part of 70×7 Life Recovery. The mentor relationships matter greatly in a returning prisoner’s moving to the life God intended for him or her to have.

70×7’s Work Readiness uses the Jobs4Life training. As one of the recent graduates said:

“The work is tough, but it builds real job skills.”

If you’d like to find out more about mentoring, CONTACT Joe Whalen, (231) 740-9566.

And look for the 70×7 Muskegon Spring 2016 Report in your mail or email. Meet Tony. Subscribe to the blog to be included.

The Good News of Justice

We’ve just celebrated the most important event of the Christian calendar, Easter — the celebration that hope is available to each of us, literally a new life because of our acceptance of the sin cancellation made for us by Jesus Christ.

70×7 Life Recovery Muskegon has officially launched our programming: Christ Centered, Job Anchored Prisoner Re-Entry in Muskegon. As Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship says in this article:

“When Christ is raised from the dead on Easter Sunday, we see that there is hope of restoration for all perpetrators of injustice. That is something… that men and women in prisons fully appreciate.”

Don’t we all long to see injustice made right?

Read More…

Community to Discuss ‘Mass Incarceration: Balancing Justice and Public Safety’

Muskegon Community College

And Justice for All

Community to Discuss ‘Mass Incarceration: Balancing Justice and Public Safety’

Tuesday, February 23
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

VENUE INFORMATION:
Muskegon Community College
221 S. Quarterline Rd. Muskegon, MI 49442
231-777-0266
http://www.muskegon.cc.mi.us

The community is invited to attend the panel discussion of “Mass Incarceration: Balancing Justice and Public Safety” on Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 6-8 p.m. in MCC’s Overbrook Theater.

The event, the fifth in Muskegon Community College’s “And Justice for All” series, is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored with the ACLU of Michigan, the series was made possible by a grant from the John G. Thompson College and Community Fund.

Read more