“Building the Best” Award Received by COC Employee
On November 30, 2016, Christian Outreach Center employee, Harold Grier, was awarded the Capital Area Reentry Coalition (CAPARC) “Building the Best” award.
Harold was given a 140-year sentence at the Angola Louisiana State Penitentiary with no possibility of parole or reprieve. While in prison, he became a Christian and received two degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary: Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry and Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry.
As a Christian, Harold became a mentor for Angola’s Reentry Court Program, as he deeply desired to help his fellow inmates learn how to reenter society, despite knowing he would not have that same opportunity. However, during the summer of 2016, he received his rap sheet and saw he was up for parole.
God Uses All Things
After his release date, Harold went to CAPARC, which seeks to work with local nonprofits in order to gather together and help these individuals holistically get back on track when they reenter society.
The executive director put Harold in contact with the team at the Christian Outreach Center (COC), which was an answered prayer. The Christian Outreach Center had been wanting to increase their involvement with prison reentry even more so, and the Lord dropped the opportunity in their lap when they met Harold.
He volunteered for some time and then joined the staff as the Prison Reentry Case Manager and he is a key part of the prison reentry initiative.
In May 2016, he was playing on the prison’s softball team, and here he is today doing prison reentry work as a free man. He recently accepted the CAPARC “Building the Best” award as a returning citizen.
Harold has a lot of energy and passion for what he does. He is very humble, inspiring and he’s a great example to those he mentors. You can’t hear his story and not be in awe of what God can do.
His plan is to help the COC take greater strides to partner with CAPARC.
What is Prison Reentry?
You may be wondering what prison reentry is. When someone gets released from prison, no matter the date or time of day, they are given $20 and the clothes on their back.
Where do they go?
What do they do?
They are instantly homeless unless they have a support system, which many do not. They have a higher risk of going back to prison without housing, education or a proper support system.
CAPARC’s goal is to reach out to individuals 90 days before their release and put them in contact with the COC in order for us to develop a relationship. With a relationship intact, they will have a place to land when they are released.
Donate to Help Others Like Harold
We are so proud of Harold. His story is a testament to the importance of prison reentry programs. When you’re thinking of your year-end giving, consider donating to the Christian Outreach Center. Your donations may have a hand in changing someone’s life.