My journey with Joseph House began almost five years ago when I was working at the local homeless shelter in Tallahassee, and I was introduced there to Father Dustin. Accompanying Father Dustin was Qwan, one of the first residents welcomed into Joseph House.
As I listened and learned from both Dustin and Qwan, I was struck by their shared respect for one another. I knew I was witnessing the beginning of an approach to re-entry that is acutely needed in our society; an approach based on treating all persons with dignity, eradicating the cruel invisibility inflicted by our society on persons who are or have been incarcerated, and accompanying each person to achieve the life he deserves upon re-entry.
Eventually Father Dustin asked me to join the Joseph House Board of Directors and the rest is history. Working with the exceptional men we serve has brought great value and purpose to my life. I’ve also been fortunate to meet many extraordinary persons during the past five years including Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Mr. Stevenson’s message of justice and redemption, Just Mercy, resonates more deeply each day. I am truly blessed to be part of the Joseph House community and to learn from the men who reside with us.
I will end my reflection with my favorite quote from Mr. Stevenson: “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
– Murdina Campbell, MSW, Special Projects Manager at Joseph House