The Onesimus Training Center was founded in October 1984 as a residential facility designed to aid those men coming out of prison, who need a place to make a successful transition back into the community. The Center, located in rural Chesapeake Va, provides housing, clothing, food, job referrals, work transportation and counseling.
The mission of the Training Center is to provide a Christian environment that is conducive to the transformation of the ex-offender from institutional life into the community. We provide them with the opportunity to accomplish this by offering a controlled environment in which men can obtain the following:
- Work Skills: Vocational rehabilitation and training by obtaining full-time employment.
- Social Skills: Learning to interact with others outside the institutional environment, i.e., learning what a Christian family is and learning how to interact with others in a non-selfish and controlling manner.
- Counseling: Individual, family, substance abuse and financial counseling.
Residents are required to sign an agreement to stay in the program for a minimum of six months. They pay a weekly program fee and are required to have full time jobs. All money they earn is turned into the center and they are given a weekly allowance until they have demonstrated financial responsibility. After they have completed the training program, any money they have turned in after paying the required program fees is returned to them. During this time each resident is responsible for paying child support, restitution and court costs. They also are required to perform daily tasks for the cleaning and maintenance of the Training Center, which helps prepare them for maintaining their own residences upon graduation. They also are required to attend two AA/NA type meetings per week, as well as church services on Sunday.
In addition to the Training Center, Onesimus Ministries also operates two townhouses in Virginia Beach and a residence in Norfolk. These houses provide oportunities with a less structured environment, with a greater emphasis on personal responsibilty, as work transportaion is no longer provided for them, and they must mange their own money.