"Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children are gone.
But now this is what the Lord says: 'Do not weep any longer… There is hope for your future.'"
About Rachel's House
For a decade Lower Lights Ministries' award-winning, nationally recognized reentry program, Rachel's House, has provided holistic reentry support for female ex-offenders. Rachel’s House restores dignity to underserved women, empowering them to care for their families, resist addiction and impact the community for good. Instead of the hopelessness generated by cycles of poverty and unemployment, a Rachel's House graduate leaves the program with the tools to rebuild her life.
“After years of being deemed ‘unfit for society,’ God led me to Rachel’s House... I have been surrounded by His love through His many disciples here at Lower Lights Ministries and the Church.”
Birdie, Director of Light the Way Home and Project AIM, former Rachel’s House graduate
Rachel's House understands the complexity of overcoming the barriers linked to a woman’s incarceration and therefore address the whole woman, acknowledging the need for stable housing, committed community and professional services. Everything we do is relational. Our holistic model includes life coaching, mentoring and peer support so each Rachel’s House woman has 9-12 volunteers serving her until she graduates.
“I have seen how God works miracles in people. These wonderful transformations have given me renewed conviction that God can and will change lives and outcomes as people trust him. How can we not support them in this transformation?”
Sharon, long-time Rachel’s House volunteer
A third of our LLM staff is former Rachel’s House participants, including two of our Program Directors! You see, Rachel’s House not only empowers a woman to resist addictions and care for her own family, but also gives her the framework for community leadership. Many Rachel’s House graduates become leaders in the wider workforce and in Franklinton. Graduates are also employed in key management positions and serve as ministry role-models. Essentially, Rachel’s House restores a woman to her potential and invigorates the community with her presence.
“I established so many healthy relationships at Rachel’s House that continued even after I moved out on my own. I have real friends: people I can turn to for help when I’m struggling, who hold me accountable. And best of all, I have a restored relationship with my children. We are a family; my daughters have a mother.”
Shauna, former Rachel's House resident
Rachel’s House History
In response to the growing need for reentry support, LLM created Rachel's House in 2002: 67.5% of released female prisoners in the Ohio are rearrested within 3 years. Most households in Franklinton are female-headed and women play a vital role of community leadership. Additionally, LLM was compelled to address the many gender-specific barriers that stand in the way of successful reentry, such as financial instability, inadequate employment history and lack of a solid community support system. So far, Rachel’s House has a LIFETIME recidivism rate of less than 15%, including women who leave the program early.
Rachel’s House is not the answer, Jesus Christ is. We are women seeking after Christ. We are not perfect and we do make mistakes along the way, but we are loved through our mistakes.”
Angela, Program Graduate and Volunteer Coordinator
More Information about Women in Prison
- The number of women in Ohio prisons has grown by 452% over the last three decades (1977-2004) and has traditionally been above the national average prison rate for women.
- Between 1999 and 2004 the Ohio’s male prison population fell by 5.4 percent while the number of women behind state prison bars shot up by 12 percent.
- More than one million women are currently in the U.S. criminal justice system.
- More than half of the women in federal and state prisons are parents of children under the age of 18. Parents of children who are held in the nation’s prisons increased by 79% between 1991 and midyear 2007.
“We value our partnership with Rachel’s House. It is instrumental in meeting both the needs of offenders and our communities to which they will transition.”
Patricia Andrews, Prison Warden, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections
Rachel's House funding partners include many individuals
and the following foundations:
The Harry C. Moores Foundation,
Limitedbrands Foundation, a supporting foundation of The Columbus Foundation
and the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America