Joseph House was built for those emerging from Florida’s spaces of confinement.
“to open eyes that are blind,Isaiah 42:7
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
We at Joseph House assist those emerging from confinement in some of our state’s dungeons. The truth is those subjected to solitary confinement are highly vulnerable to developing severe cognitive and mental disorders such as dementia, psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, depression and anxiety.
We are created for others
We at Joseph House work from the given presupposition that we are created for others. We are created by a God who is relationship and who has imbued deep within the structures of our universe a personalistic existence that is the fulfillment of all creation. What Florida’s use of solitary confinement indicate is a belief that people are atomistic, solitary individuals not created ultimately for relationships. We believe that true healing can only take place in relation to others who offer trust, compassion, and new habits of peace.
On any given day there are over 10,000 prisoners in Florida’s solitary confinement. As noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center this is more than double the national average. In their in-depth article on this horrific practice, they describe the degree of isolation, abuse, and unspeakable trauma that prisoners suffer from while confined in space the size of a large bathroom. As noted, prisoners will spend up to 22-24hrs a day in these cells and for many this will be their lodging for months, years, and for some, decades. We at Joseph House minister to those who have been warehoused in solitary confinement. We believe that if any one of us were exposed to solitary confinement for an extended period of time, we too would emerge from this experience traumatized.
God’s little creatures
I think it’s safe to say the theme of our inaugural month at Joseph House has been ‘caring for God’s little creatures.’ With feeding squirrels, birds and shooing away hawks, we’ve worked to create a small sanctuary in midtown Tallahassee. We are in need of are any master gardeners in our community to assist us in designing and creating a meditation path/garden. So if you’re a master in gardening, then please contact us.