Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM) was established in January, 2012 by Michael Coleman, who currently serves as the Executive Director. Michael’s vision was to help men and women who were chronically unemployed to be able to obtain and maintain employment. In doing so, they could become self-sufficient and productive citizens, thereby building dignity and self-worth in their lives.
The First Baptist Church played a huge role in the establishment of HIM by providing the necessary space to operate at no cost to the ministry. Without their generosity, it is possible that HIM might not have ever gotten off the ground.
Our first class began in May 2012 with seven students. Ultimately, only four students made it to graduation. That initial class opened the eyes of this ministry to the incredible challenges that lay ahead.
As each class began to increase in size, we decided to break the men and women into two different classes. Through this continued period of growth, one weakness in our structure was identified. We were beginning to see our graduates fall back into old patterns, especially if they did not immediately find full-time employment upon graduation. We now work with graduates through tracking the continued progress of our graduates for a full two years after graduation, working alongside each of them to assist them with GED completion, employability, and other life issues which may arise.
We are in our fifth year of existence and we have many stories of ex-felons, ex-addicts, and high school dropouts obtaining full-time employment because they chose to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by our program. Our process is very structured and requires a real commitment from students to make necessary changes to their lives. Those who refuse to change are dismissed from our program. In fact, on average only 40%-50% of students who begin the course make it to graduation. But those students who put forth sufficient effort each day find themselves with the skills they need to become employed, productive citizens.
Since starting our program, we’ve consistently kept 75-80% of our graduates employed and/or going to school. We have also seen that our recidivism rate at only 4% with 110 graduates over the past five years.
Our next step will be expanding into Birmingham and opening our second location in the Woodlawn community. Thanks to a partnership with the YWCA in Birmingham, we will utilize their facilities at their Family Resource Center and bring the job training for their clients and neighbors. W
We believe the Lord will continue to lead us in the direction He desires for us to go. We anticipate this will continue to involve working with the marginalized local residents who are chronically unemployed and help them transition into a place of self-sufficiency through hard work and a commitment to become what God has created them to be.