Life after incarceration can be tough and even feel like its own form of prison because of the stigma, discrimination, isolation, instability, and many other challenges that come with it.

A local non-profit organization will expand its services to help former inmates adjust to life after prison.

Heart of Hopes Ministries will open a transformational home for men. This new program will provide them with a place to live, job opportunities, and mentors.

Heart of Hope’s new Giving Hope House seeks to help previous inmates overcome these challenges.

Local 4 News spoke with the Heart of Hope founder and president, Lynda Sargent. All of the stories she’s heard, and all of the people she’s been able to help in her 30-plus years of service, led her to start the program, she said.

Heart of Hope Ministries recently finished renovation for this home that will include a house chaperone, and will start to accept residents soon.

Sargent said she worked with a 17-year-old African who had come to the United States as a refugee. He had four felonies. “I wasn’t able to give him a big-boy job but started giving him a job cleaning bathrooms for $25 a week. And we encouraged him to stay in school and he became an interpreter at IBP. Speaking encouragement over people and letting them know that they can make it, it makes a big impact – much more than what people realize,” Sargent said.

The house includes three bedrooms for three former inmates who will go through a screening process prior to being approved.

Opening the home is only the first step of the process. Soon, Sargent plans to start up business, provide a mentor program, and many other resources for participants.

Heart of Hope Ministries also provides other services such as a food pantry open every Thursday, food delivery to the elderly on Fridays, a clothing ministry and more. Visit their website for more details at Heart of Hope QC.