Grace House Ministries, founded by Rev. Terry King today unveiled and dedicated its new corporate offices in the former City of Buffalo fire hall at 2025 Bailey Avenue. The 11:30am dedication of its new offices will serve as headquarters to the growing ministry serving over 500 men in transition out of prison into society again. King, a former inmate himself, experienced a radical change of heart during his time in prison and founded SGM, Inc. in 1999 after he became painfully aware of the lack of coordinated services available for men who are released from prison.
The ministry now operates with 10 properties in the City of Buffalo serving men with all types of backgrounds, helping them make the transition to life in Buffalo again. The men commit to a 30, 60 or 90 day minimum stay, depending on Parole mandates and risk assessment review, according to the organization's official website, www.sgmworld.org. The “Grace House” staff then screens and refers residents to agencies that meet needs or can provide assistance with resident case requirements. Case Managers assess individual needs, introducing social programming as individually required. Residents also have access to welfare-to-work job training, family restoration programs, youth initiatives, mentoring, intervention and life skills training to prevent homelessness, encouraging individuals to become and maintain being productive members of society.
According to sgmworld.org, "Existing programs in Buffalo and Rochester service a population that would have statistically returned to prison at a rate of about 70%. The “Grace House” program has been able to turn this recidivism rate around – between 70-80% of “Grace House” clients successfully complete the program and are able to move into independent housing. The agency is in the planning stages for developing “Grace House” programs in Syracuse, Brooklyn, Dansville, and Elmira, New York.
There are also many ways our residents assist our neighbors and improve the community where we are located. Examples are shoveling, landscaping, home improvement and providing scheduled transportation for people who need help getting groceries, with weekly van runs to local grocery store."