Exodus Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides an intensive residential discipleship program for formerly incarcerated mothers reuniting with their children immediately as they are released from prison.
Exodus Ministries was founded in 1985.
Every element of Exodus Ministries’ regimen feeds into and reinforces each of its other components.
Each weekday, this small group of mothers participates in scheduled events designed to provide life and job skills. They learn to be the best moms, citizens and employees possible. The regular classes include a 12-step recovery program, Bible study, parenting classes, and instruction in financial management and budgeting. Additional classes supplement the core curriculum, including self-defense, crocheting, sewing, flower arranging and topical discussions relevant to the healing process in which each woman is engaged.
Exodus Ministries is a non-denominational Christian ministry whose practices and beliefs are Biblical. It receives prayer, volunteer and financial support from various churches and individuals, but the program is independent from outside affiliation.
Unfortunately, Exodus is unable to address men’s needs because of space limitations.
Participants live on the premises for 12 months while learning to gain healthy independence.
Each woman and her children are provided with a private, fully furnished apartment while they stay at Exodus. When they graduate from the program, the women are allowed to take everything in the apartment — furniture, clothing, food, toys — with them to help their family get started on its new life.
Each woman admitted must have at least one child in her custody and possession. She may have up to three children in her possession, the oldest of which cannot be older than age 12 on the date of arrival.
The organization has 11 individual apartments available for occupancy. The number of vacancies varies because each woman graduates on the anniversary date of her arrival.
Yes. Each woman is assigned a licensed Christian counselor with whom she meets weekly. Counselor services are paid for by donations to Exodus Ministries.
No. The non-profit depends upon individual donors, churches, foundations and other organizations that want to help change the life trajectory of mothers and children served.
Many ways. The annual cost to incarcerate one inmate in Texas is approximately $23,000. Based upon the national recidivism rate of more than 60 percent within three years of release from prison, the odds are high that an inmate will return to prison. Exodus graduates have a recidivism rate of zero within three years of their release from prison. For all women who come to Exodus Ministries and stay for more than six weeks, the recidivism rate is less than five percent, far less than the national average. The State of Texas saves the annual incarceration rate for each Exodus Ministries graduate who avoids returning to prison.
The cost of incarceration is only one economic impact on the State of Texas. Like men, women who have been incarcerated have a difficult time securing employment and housing. Employers do not want to hire them, and landlords don’t want to lease to them. On the other hand, 83 percent of Exodus Ministries graduates progress to higher paying jobs or careers upon program completion. As they earn more money, they become less dependent upon food stamps and other entitlements, thus costing the State of Texas and local communities fewer tax dollars.
Some studies indicate that children of ex-offender mothers are seven times more likely than their peers to become offenders if there is no intervention in their lives and the lives of their mothers. Exodus Ministries teaches mothers how to rebuild their own lives and restore their families. Without Exodus Ministries or a similar program, 70 percent of these children are likely to become offenders themselves. Exodus Ministries provides a stable living situation for children whose past family life has been one of chaos and instability.
The next step for each woman is somewhat different depending on her interests and the ages of her children. Many graduates are interested in and capable of completing college level educational work. In partnership with Buckner Family Pathways, some Exodus graduates pursue associate, bachelor’s and, in some cases, master’s degrees. Others seek employment situations that maximize the use of their skills.
The cost to operate a residential unit varies depending upon the number of children, their ages and the mother’s needs. For all units and families of varying sizes, the average monthly residential unit operational cost is approximately $2,200. Clearly, a family with three growing boys has greater financial needs than a family with a 4-month old infant.
While incarcerated or in an in-patient drug rehabilitation facility, an interested candidate must complete and return an application to Exodus. The application is available online at www.ExodusMinistries.org or by calling (214) 827-3772. The application is quite comprehensive and detailed. Because of the limited number of units available, many worthy applicants must be denied enrollment solely on the basis of available space.
Phone (214) 827-3772 Fax (214) 827-0072
Office Hours: Mon - Fri 9:30am - 5:00pm