One Man's Treasure seeks to empower men recently released from men's Texas state prisons who come to the Dallas and Fort Worth area by providing them with clothing and opportunities for networking.
When a man is released from a Texas prison, he is given four items: a used pair of pants, a used shirt, $50, and a bus ticket. When he attends his first meeting with his parole officer, he is given another $50. If he has served all his sentence of imprisonment, he receives $100 in addition to the clothing and bus ticket.
Dallas and surrounding areas are confronted with a critical social issue of concern that affects our community as a whole – thousands of indigent men returning from incarceration each year with limited, if any, support to help them successfully
re-enter society. With those meager provisions and limited support, these men begin the challenging path of re-entry into society that includes finding employment and housing. Many have been incarcerated for five, ten, twenty years and the world as they knew it has changed dramatically. Many do not have any family and others return to families that are unable to financially assist them in obtaining their basic needs. Those men who do not have families go into transition homes, struggle to find housing that will rent to the formerly incarcerated, or become homeless. The meager funds they have (often the $100 received when released) are needed for the basic necessities of shelter, food and transportation; therefore, they are unable to purchase clothing to meet their daily needs or that is appropriate for job interviews. Without decent clothing for an interview or that is a requirement for certain job opportunities, employment becomes even more difficult to obtain. With these limited means and challenges to employment, the chance of successfully reintegrating into the community and becoming a productive member of society is difficult.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice in their Reentry Update: September 1, 2012 addressed the need for assistance to those men returning from prison to our communities: “Re-entry Barriers and Recommendations: The lack of affordable and safe housing, opportunities for meaningful employment, timely access to substance abuse and mental health treatment, health care and other basic living supports have been and continue to be the biggest reentry hurdles in rural and urban communities.”
One Man’s Treasure, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, is a simple, but vital organization that addresses the critical need for decent clothing faced by these returning men that will provide them with a sense of dignity and hope as they seek to change the course of their lives. The mission is centered on the belief that if these indigent men can find employment when they are released from prison, they can lift themselves from poverty and become a productive member of society. For those who return to their families, obtaining a job will enable them to take part in the financial responsibilities of the family and become a positive role model for those around them, especially their children and wives. By providing them with essential clothing and referrals to other resources during the period of critical need, we assist them in changing the course of their lives long term. It is the goal of One Man’s Treasure to continue to help break the cycle of recidivism (return to prison) by helping to bring these often overlooked men successfully into the mainstream of our community and in doing that make our tax base intact and our communities safer.