Jubilee Home works with young men in the Durham community to create a place that bridges the gap between incarceration and full independence.
Our goals as an organization balance the real social and psychological needs of our residents with an understanding of community that comes from our belief that everyone has something to contribute. Ours is an assets based approach that first recognizes each resident as unique and valuable, and works with each young person to discover their wants and needs.
Dignity and Value
Jubilee Home is a faith-based organization, that believes to be human is to be endowed with dignity and value. Every person is more valuable than their worst moment.
However, under the current system individuals are denied access to many of the social services that could help them transition back to their communities. This means that even after someone has served the time deemed appropriate by the courts for their crime, they are still socially guilty for life and lose access to section 8 housing vouchers, possibly SNAP benefits, and more. These circumstances, paired with the difficulty of finding worthwhile employment with a criminal record means that many young men who want to rejoin their communities in a meaningful way cannot make the transition. Jubilee Home works to remove barriers by providing housing, meals, and support.
But Jubilee Home does not work only for the benefit of formerly incarcerated individuals. JH also works to connect the community and its residents to one another so that we can all benefit from the gifts of each other. The Durham community is fuller, and more diverse when young men are allowed to return and put their varied experiences to work within their neighborhoods.
Our origins as an organization are not exciting or extraordinary. Like many small non-profits, we began as an attempt to solve a problem – in particular the problem of suitable supportive housing options for young men returning from incarceration in North Carolina. As we develop we learn every day that our role is less about solving the problems of others and more about learning how to be part of a community of mutual kinship.
In 2011, while working in a youth detention facility, one of our co-founders witnessed two of his students do terrible things to make sure they could stay incarcerated as opposed to returning home. This loss of naivety forced him to look deeper at the options available to young men as they leave incarceration. When the research turned up a gap in options for transitional aged people (17-24 yrs old) the idea for Jubilee Home was born!
Now, we recognize that we are not THE solution for supportive housing in North Carolina. Instead, we are a part of a Durham community that cares deeply about these young men and is working hard to empower them to flourish on the strength of their own talents. We are so thankful to be part of such a process of mutuality.