As Powerful as Divine Predestination

It was over a casual dinner with one of our residents, a young man who went into prison at age 18 and was released to us three years later at 21, that the conversation got personal, and very reflective. “I think if I had had parents like you, I might not have gone to jail.”

I asked him, “What do you remember about your life when you were say three or four years old?”

He responded, “Well, I spent a lot of time with my grandma and auntie. But we never really knew when. We bounced around a lot, and grandma didn’t always want us. We ate, but not well. We didn’t know whose house we would be at most of the time, and when we were with my mom, it was kind of a mess. Lots of people around we didn’t know; we were in the way.”

I went back and asked a prominent business school professor, a close friend of mine, “What do you remember about life when you were three?”

“Hmm, let’s see, at three I started golf lessons.”

And there, at three years old, their lives were already plotted out, with forces almost as powerful as divine predestination – the forces of race, economics, and class.

Not long ago, someone asked in a zoom interview if our residents gave back to the community by going into schools and trying to keep younger kids from following the path that led our guys to prison. It immediately struck as wrong. A three-year-old, who doesn’t know where he will sleep, or what he will eat, is essentially homeless, a plight similar to that of the orphan, young, with nobody to take care of them. He was in the system as a juvenile, and in jail by the time he hit adulthood. This is not an attitude problem, this is poverty. Until we realize that our prisons are filled with orphans that we neglected, we will be blaming the wrong people, and our solutions will fail.

– Dr. Sonya Cronin

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The art of accompaniment


Some may volunteer by accompanying our residents through challenging tasks.

Others may wish to volunteer by assisting helping us around the house, creating a sense of belonging for all of us.

Finally, others may simply want to join us on occasion at our community events to learn more.

Responding to Material Needs


There are very real costs to create a home for those hoping to re-enter society after incarceration. 

Joseph House, through the generosity of our donors, has been able to take concrete steps towards justice by restoring the dignity of those leaving the prison systems.

Sharing the Good News


In less than one year our ministry has grown in leaps and bounds, impacting the lives of many for one simple reason: people are sharing the good news. 

We encourage you to share Joseph House with your family, your friends, your community, inviting them to join us as we join those re-entering society after prison.

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