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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Action Alert: Onesimus Ministries Which Ministers to Inmates and Houses Former Offenders Including RSO’s Here in Virginia is Currently Financially Struggling, But You Could Help!

I met first met Rev. Bill Twine of Onesimus Ministries back in 2009 at his Chesapeake Half-way House. He runs some of the only Half-way Houses that accept Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia. 

When the RSOL of Virginia dissolved back in November 2012 and we were required by law as a 501(c)(4) to donate all assets and money to another non-profit there was no doubt who would be the recipient of the RSOL-VA funds, but Onesimus Ministries for their work and outreach to Registered Sex Offenders. 

I’ve seen Bill 3 or 4 times over the last few years including last Saturday at the Virginia CURE annual conference  and he mentioned recent financial difficulties for the ministry. Due to the large number of their residents who are unemployed, under employed and sporadically employed. As of November 2014 they house 14 ex-offenders in their Chesapeake House, half of that number is on the VSP Registry. 

They also have other homes in Norfolk and Chesapeake with a total number of 9 residents, 7 of whom are on the VSP Registry.
 
The men on the registry have the hardest time finding employment and struggle with paying program fees. 

Onesimus’ current challenges  also include raising money to replace the Chesapeake House roof; repairing interior walls and floors and repairing ministry vehicles. 

Bill is an amazing man and the one way I can help him is to advise all of you that his ministry needs funds to continue to help the current residents and to hopefully graduate those men out of the program and to take in additional newly released men who would be homeless without Onesimus Ministries. 

I hear from many of you asking if you can send me money and I always decline your generous and kind offers to assist my advocacy. I’ve taken on this role and as long as we can cover our expenses we will. But you could and I hope you will help Rev. Bill Twine and Onesimus Ministries. 
 

All donations are tax deductible and they do not receive state or federal funds. 

Donations can be mailed to:
                Onesimus Ministries
                P.O. Box 12241
                Norfolk, VA 23541 

You can email Bill Twine at wbtwine@msn.com  if you have jobs for his residents or if you can help with any of their repair needs.

He sent me their latest newsletter but it’s a PDF and documents will not post on a blog, only images and videos so I can not share the newsletter here. 

So I copied the below from their website. 

Please give a donation to Onesimus Ministries so they can continue ministering to Virginia’s inmates and giving them a place to live once their released. 
 
If you've ever thought, I wish I could do something to help improve the current situation for RSO's and their families, this is your chance to help!

Thank you very much! 

Mary Devoy  

Onesimus Ministries was started in May of 1982 by Rev. William Twine to provide Christian ministry to men incarcerated in Norfolk City Jail. In 1984 the Onesimus Training Center was opened in Chesapeake Va. to provide a residence for ex-offenders being released from prison. In 1995 two additional residences were added in Virginia Beach Va. to provide additional transitional assistance. 

The name Onesimus comes from the New Testament book of Philemon. Onesimus was a runaway slave who ended up in jail and encountered the Apostle Paul, who shared the good news of Christ with him. Following his conversion, Paul wrote a letter on behalf of Onesimus, entreating his former master Philemon to accept him back into the community; not as a slave, but as a brother in Christ. The name Onesimus is a Greek word meaning "useful." 

MISSION STATEMENT
  • To provide ministry to those that are incarcerated.
  • To provide aftercare ministry to those released from jail or prison.
  • To provide ministry to the families of those incarcerated.
Many inmates leave prison as Christians and have a strong desire to participate in a Christian based aftercare program where they can develop relationships with other believers and continue to grow in faith. They need to know that they have a place in the body of Christ, where they are accepted, loved and nurtured.