What’s Happening Now?
A Call to Action
Check out our activities and “in the works” plans. We invite your suggestions, prayers, and help to broadcast opportunities to partner with us or volunteer. We are looking for: Contacts ~ Resources ~Board Members ~ Allies ~ Potential Job Trainers ~ Funding. Please share your expertise. Thank you.
Join us in prayer and fasting, for our world, country, city, for the Lord’s wisdom in our project, and for Christ-followers to join in God’s redemptive plan. To God be the glory.
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Partnering with Brainerd Baptist, their mission pastors, and Celebrate Recovery program, Step uP Chattanooga plans to implement a new class from the Chalmer’s Center curricula: Faith & Finances. Presently, a training class of 14 participants represents our board, Brainerd Baptist, and The Bethlehem Center. Collectively, those training have experience in prison ministry, education, missions, sales, and ministry. Four individuals will be certified to teach, and the rest are being trained as allies and co-facilitators.
This Fall, Work Life, a faith-based work preparedness curriculum, will be offered by Step uP to The Bethlehem Center. We may also assist them in their Faith & Finances classes as well. One of their staff members and a volunteer are currently training alongside.
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Since COVID placed a damper on our in-house 14 week Work LIfe program at Silverdale Detention Center as of March 11, we are looking instead to provide Work Life, Faith & Finances, and New Believer’s correspondence classes. This requires not only the cost of the curricula materials, the printing, etc. but also one on one ally relationships for which we provide training. Many allies will need to be trained. Currently, we are trial-testing Work Life with one participant still incarcerated who was originally in our spring class (that was interrupted) so she may graduate.
The Community Manager of an inner city-subsidized housing project has recently joined the Step Up Chattanooga Board. Her church is in the Highland Park area and discussion is in the works as to how Step uP Chattanooga might find partnering ministry options.
The pastor, who owns a construction business, has a heart to help men with prison records by providing training for construction jobs. He has done this in the past. The church building is an old school with rooms that have been converted into dorm-style bedrooms, however, it is in need of repair. The commercial kitchen area is one we may explore for teaching and training cooking skills. Classrooms are available. Also office space for Step uP, and a showroom area for housing our Attire for Hire Boutique. (First Presbyterian Church still houses our Attire for Hire Showroom).
A ministry that has had over 100 reentry men in discipleship, providing them residence and job placement, is looking to open housing for both men and women in Chattanooga. We are planning to view their homes in Lafayette, GA, and then introduce our connection there to the pastor of the Highland Park area church to see if this might be a good match.
Since one of the Work Life graduates has expressed an interest in teaching a forklift training program, we are pursuing that possibility as this is a needed skill and training is hard to find.
Step uP is discussing possible partnership with the GM of a hotel regarding their training program. The hotel chain has 13 affiliates around the city in need of housekeeping and hotel services. Their training program includes these skills and potential for advancement.
We will be presenting our program as a referral/partnership to the Transformation Project group. This is a local faith-based furlough program with a reputable long-serving reputation available for non-violent substance abuse cases. They work statewide, directly with local judges, offering an alternative sentence under strict mandates.
God has been prodding us to sponsor a city-wide prayer in the downtown Chattanooga area. We will open that door with a prayer group we have been involved with for several years for both lay leaders and pastors from a variety of denominations.
It has been Step uP Chattanooga’s vision from our humble beginnings over ten years ago to form an alliance of churches, ministries, and organizations that would come together to help the working poor. We believe it is His time, dear friends.