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Each year there are over 600,000 ex-offenders that are returning to their home communities after they have served their prison sentences. Housing, employment, lacking basic education and skills are all major factors in the barriers that men and women that have been formerly incarcerated face. Additionally, support systems that specifically address these needs & the needs of ex-offenders are few and far between. While many have the initial desire to be self-supportive and prove themselves capable of changing their lives for the good; all to often, lack of resources, lack of opportunities, and lack of hope wear down one's resolve with an end result of turning back to old ways and returning back to the prison system. Not surprisingly, the majority of people coming out of prison do not succeed in staying out. It is estimated that roughly 2/3rds of all those released from prison will return within just a few short years. Generally, within the first months of release high hopes are quickly lost do to the reality of limited employment, employers unwilling to even consider an applicant having a criminal past, not having the necessary job and life skills to make in this world today, and having a lack of spiritual grounding. F.I.S.T. Inc. looks to make a difference by offering a firm foundation to erect each person's spiritual house and place to begin re-building their lives. F.I.S.T. Inc. helps and supports people who have been jailed or imprisoned. We do not judge.  Literally thousands of studies and reports show that there are four major problem areas that affect the likelihood of ex-offenders returning to crime.  They are: stable employment, housing, substance abuse treatment, and learning pro-social behaviors.  Spiritual Fellowship also has a tremendous impact on preventing ex-offenders from returning to crime.  F.I.S.T. Inc. addresses   all five of these cornerstones. Intersted in helping F.I.S.T. Inc. achieve these goals? The organization and its members can always use bus passes to assist with job searching and initial transportation to a new job, gift cards to Kmart, Target, Home Depot, Office Depot, etc. which will help with obtaining toiletries, building upkeep, and office supplies. Additionally, we are always on the look out for employment opportunities for our members. F.I.S.T. Inc. can screen job candidates to fit the needs of your business.
Over 30 volunteers from F.I.S.T. helped with the "Paint the Town" Project downtown. Other sites you might have seen them have been at Clearview School working with United Way to  construct a playground for the students; along Amstutz, downtown Waukegan , the beachfront, or after a special event cleaning up the streets & picking up garbage; helping out local churches with building maintenance & "face lifts"; or even planting and taking care of  a public garden through Green Town.  F.I.S.T. Members have been busy throughout the area giving back and performing admirably.
From the beginning, F.I.S.T. Has been a strong proponent for employment training and education for its members.  Whether setting up interviews to become employed, obtaining a state I.D, Ex-offenders being taught a realistic 12-Step program geared to the incarcerated, training in the Thrift Store & main office, mentoring, or learning how to run & operate a business through the "S.T.E.E.P" Program - ; our members have gained new insight and hope for the future.  A shinning example of "Striving Together"!