Clothing Not Optional

No shirt, no pants, no hope. An inmate released from prison leaves the “gray bar hotel” with only what he has on: vinyl shoes fastened with Velcro and a gray sweat suit, a little thicker than a handkerchief. That’s it.

On January 1, 2013, True Freedom Ministries, working in conjunction with David Sudnick of Joy Care Ministries and Dan Cisco of The Well Ministries, launched a clothing pantry designed to meet all the apparel and cosmetics needs of a newly released inmate. Lovingly nicknamed “Dave’s Slack Shack” for Dave Sudnick, the clothes pantry is stocked with soap, razors, deodorant, new underwear, socks, shoes, jeans, dress slacks, suits, shirts, ties, belts, coats and hats.

Since launching the clothing pantry over one hundred newly released inmates have received the necessary assistance to help them reestablish themselves in society.  “This is the first time anyone has ever done anything nice for me in my whole life,” one newly released inmate said, with a tear tracing the line of his cheek, “I cannot thank you enough.”

In addiction to helping ex-offenders, we were privileged to assist ten (10) students from Willow Elementary School, one of the Cleveland School district’s most disadvantaged. These children received shirts, shoes, pants, sport coats, and the love of Jesus Christ.