The vision of NuLinks is multi-faceted.
First of all it is to maximize all inmates (and their families) probability of not only ‘making it’ once released, but thriving…on every level…in a redeemed, empowered, and independently sustainable new approach to life…supported by a committed team in their neighborhood, and a wide range of services and resources from our network of partner charities.
Secondly it is to mobilize churches (of any denomination that is willing) to pro-actively facilitate their probability of thriving by boldly supporting them through teams offering committed friendship in every area of life that wars against their (and their family’s) chances. These teams also make sure that the best use of our charitable services and resources is made according to each family’s needs.
This process begins by engaging the offender as long before release as possible (6 to 8 months) with visitation and planning, then upon release with greeting by one of many NuLinks trained and supported Aftercare Teams based in the region where the released offender intends to reside. These teams are based in a Partner Church as close to the released inmate’s chosen release destination as possible (whether an existing home, a NuLinks associated shelter, or a required stay in a NuLinks associated halfway house). There is no expectation or solicitation of ‘conversion’ or church attendance whatsoever, simply a hope that the help we offer will naturally inspire a desire to be part of what is driving that help: faith that God loves them and will transform any life or situation, that is convinced to the contrary, if they give faith a chance.
These Aftercare Teams have at their disposal dozens of NuLinks Resource Partners, offering a wide variety of services needed by released inmates as they try to return to life outside, as well as by their families (while that member is incarcerated). These include shelter and sustenance as needed, specialized counseling and addiction recovery support, employment advocacy and education support, health / financial / and legal counsel etc..
Thirdly, it is to enlighten and inspire both volunteers, supporters, the church and the public by facilitating understanding of the typical inmate: that they are neither ‘bad’ people, nor necessarily even people who made ‘bad choices’. They are almost invariably people who had been coping as best they could (usually since birth) with one or more extreme disadvantages most of us never dream of…whether it be poverty, mental illness, an abusive or highly dysfunctional home situation, an atmosphere of crime or addiction, the list is endless.