House Of Joshua Gives Former Inmates A Fresh Start

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- A new house in North Topeka uses a focus on faith to get former prison inmates back on their feet and so they don't end up back behind bars.

A Wichita based non-profit ministry is behind the effort. The group, Working Men of Christ, leased the house March 15th. It already has two former inmates living there.

Wednesday, they gave officials from the Kansas Department of Corrections a tour.

Matthew Seimens was released from prison March 6th. He says it's a struggle to get back on his feet.

"It's a progress to go back into society," says Matthew.

The non-profit ministry group, Working Men of Christ Inc, hopes its House of Joshua can ease the transition from incarceration to civilian life.

"The whole focus is not just a place to lay your head at night, but a whole transition and a lifestyle that will help them become a responsible citizen in society as opposed to being dumped back onto the streets," says Marshall Madill, President of House Of Joshua.

Top officials from the Kansas Department of Corrections got a first hand look at the 13 bedroom house, some rooms furnished, while some still needing renovation.

Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts says a project like this will lead men like Matthew to success.

"It's just a win-win situation with a roof over their head and they can get a job and the big thing is the unconditional love from the volunteers they get to support these type of programs," says Roberts.

Unconditional love Matthew says he is happy to receive.

"They've offered me a lot of support, it's a great ministry. I'm glad to be apart of it," says Matthew.

A director will also live in the house 24/7. Marshall says it has room for 10 former inmates and several already have applied. Marshall says it is matter of waiting for the inmates to be released. Marshall says the ministry group screens, interviews and votes before deciding which inmates can live in the house.

They are asking for donations to cover costs of bible study class and the full-time live- in director's salary. Many of the residents will not have cars, so they also need to pay for transportation.They need about $1,500 per month. You can make checks payable to "Working Men Of Christ Inc.- House of Joshua." All donations are tax deductible.

House Of Joshua
1220 NW VanBuren
Topeka, KS

A grand opening will take place sometime in May 2014.