Hope Works! in the RCJC

“I was in prison and you came to visit me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:36, 40

Hey, friends! We have EXCITING news to deliver! God continues to show us favor in the city jail. He opened doors in the fall of 2015 for us to enter into the Richmond City Justice Center (RCJC) aka The Richmond City Jail with Jobs for Life, a biblically based job preparation and life skills training program. We had our first graduation on December 17th! 13 more men and women graduated from our Winter classes in March 2016.  Meet our first 9 graduates!

Andre, Cary, Terrence, Rafphy, Ramon, Lynwood, Pavel, Tyrone, Iya
And – Andre was the first to get a job through work release after graduation and started on Monday, 1/4/16 and continues there today!

After our winter classes, we, as a team of volunteers, realized that we couldn’t walk away from our new friends who just happened to live in the RCJC. And they didn’t want us to leave! So, we found a way! Each week we are holding 4 discipleship groups – 1 in community custody (work release), 1 for men in The REAL Program (the RCJC’s anti-recidivism program) and 2 women’s groups. Our volunteers disciple 40-50 people through these weekly groups!

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Now, we will be going back to hold 2 classes this fall….and will be partnering with Entrust Federal Credit Union, who will be adding 4 workshops on biblical financial education! We are grateful for the partnership!

Because of these additions, we are renaming our ministry in the RCJC!  Hope Works!

And we need YOUR help!  There are several ways you can connect!  Keep reading to learn about Jobs for Life, Life Transformation Groups and Get Clean! Bags.

Jobs-for-Life-logoJobs for Life

One class for 10 women starting on 9/29/2016.
One class for 10 men starting on 9/29/2016.

Please pray for us as we enter into this new season. God is on the move. As we sought the advice of the 9 men in our current class, they literally told us to not stop talking about God. They knew that this class is different from all the other classes they have gone through because they felt the genuine love of the Father through our champions/mentors, instructors and other volunteers. It’s been life-changing for us all. Scripture has come alive to them as the weeks have gone by.

This has been a joint effort of countless people from many churches! All coming together to serve those who are imprisoned. We would love you and your church to be a part of it!

Our Fall and Winter volunteers came from a long list of churches. Someone once said “The best welfare person in a job.” Come help us provide dignity through work by joining us as a volunteer.

Spring Run Presbyterian, Hope Church, Arise RVA, Life Transformation Church, St Giles Church, New Life Empowerment Temple, Great Hope Baptist & Commonwealth Chapel to name some churches represented.

If you think someone you know is interested in participating in this program, please forward this email to them!

Here are a few details…VOLUNTEER NEEDS:


We are looking for male and female champions that would be willing to sacrifice some time to mentor 10 motivated men and 10 motivated women who are part of the REAL program in the Richmond City Justice Center. We are meeting 2x a week – Monday and Thursday from approximately 5-7pm. Because we are going inside the jail there are a variety of restrictions that present us some challenges, but nothing we can’t get through! In an IDEAL world, we would love to have 10 male champions and 10 female champions who could be there for every session, but we realize that is asking a lot. So, we are asking for each champion to commit to at least 1 night a week (Monday or Thursday). We will need to have 15-20 champions to be sure we have 10 each night.


We are also looking for instructors. A facilitator’s guide is provided. It’s a mix of scripture/bible lesson and soft skills like the importance of character, community, body language, and some resume writing and interviewing skills. We have a few instructors, but would like to be sure we have a diverse population of instructors. We hope to pull from our current list of experienced instructors, but we will have room for new volunteers.


We could really use some assistance with administrative functions for both classes. Tracking student data online, prayer requests, etc. Marti is happy to help train this person. They can come into the jail, or not.


If you would like to join the prayer team, we would love to have you join us in praying the participant’s requests, the classes, and more! No need to come to the jail.


  • Background checks will be required by EVERYONE who will work/volunteer in the jail. For those who have recently had one at the jail, they are good for one year. No need to do another. There are very few limitations that would prevent folks from being able to be a part of this program. ex. If previously incarcerated, must have been out for at least 1 year.
  • Jail Orientation is required for ALL who will work/volunteer in the jail.
  • We welcome folks who were previously incarcerated and have been restored and would be willing to share their own experiences and successes, providing hope and healing to the participants.
  • Must be willing to be there by 5:15p, with a start time of 5:30p. Leaving early is possible, but not preferred.
  • No cell phones will be allowed in the jail. And a picture ID is required to enter.
  • There are other limitations that will be shared at orientation, such as if you come in with a pen, etc. You need to be sure you leave with the pen.

— DATES of our Fall Classes:

Note: A short orientation and training is also required! Dates will be shared upon commitment.

Date Time Program Class Topic
Thursday, September 29, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life Welcome, Let’s Get Started
Monday, October 3, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life Why Should I Take This Journey?
Thursday, October 6, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What Do I Bring to The Table and What do I still need?
Monday, October 10, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life Who is Driving?
Thursday, October 13, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life How do I plan my Journey?
Monday, October 17, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life How do I find my destination?
Thursday, October 20, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What can I expect when I reach my destination?
Monday, October 24, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What are the physical roadblocks along the Journey?
Thursday, October 27, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What are the Emotional Roadblocks Along the Journey?
Monday, October 31, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What Do I need on the Journey? Part 1
Thursday, November 3, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What Do I need on the Journey? Part 2
Monday, November 7, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life How do I ask for directions?
Thursday, November 10, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life How do I know if I’m going in the right direction?
Monday, November 14, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life What happens if I make a wrong turn?
Thursday, November 17, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life How do I stay on the journey at Work?
Monday, November 21, 16 5-7:30 Jobs for Life How do I stay on the Journey?
Monday, November 28, 16 5-7:30 Financial Education Workshop Living Within Your Means
Thursday, December 1, 16 5-7:30 Financial Education Workshop Debt Elimination
Monday, December 5, 16 5-7:30 Financial Education Workshop Tips for Saving
Thursday, December 8, 16 5-7:30 Financial Education Workshop Daily Application
Monday, December 12, 16 TBD Graduation – Men
Thursday, December 15, 16 TBD Graduation – Women

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Life Transformation Groups

Each week we enter the RCJC to study the Word with our Jobs for Life Graduates and future participants and those who they invite.  There’s no formal teaching, video or special book to purchase…just your Bible. Each week a scripture passage is selected to read every day before the next time you meet, allowing the Holy Spirit to do the teaching.  Then, the group discusses it and what each person heard from God.

These groups are held on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30.  With enough volunteers, we hope to have the commitment to 1-2 times a month.  Ideally, we need a total of 20 female and 20 male volunteers.  Perfect opportunity for a small group or life group to volunteer!


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Get Clean! Bags

There are approximately 1000 men and women in the Richmond City Justice Center – RCJC. Personal hygiene items are expensive and limited for many residents. We’d like to supply GET CLEAN! bags for every resident of the RCJC. Every bag will contain personal hygiene items that are most asked for and needed by the residents.

This will make a great project for youth, clubs, sororities and fraternities, book clubs, bible studies and more!  Please sign up for the # of bags that your church, group, or club is willing to provide.

For details or to sign up, check out >>> Get Clean! Sign Up Genius

If there are ANY questions or concerns, please contact us here >>  CONTACT US!  We would love to chat about it.

If you want to support this work and other things we do through Into The Neighborhood and Miss Marti’s House, please support us through clicking here >> SUPPORT.