By Chanel Coley
NCCU Staff Writer
The Durham VOICE
The empty lot with the sign “Future Home of Antioch Builds Community,” is a bit deceiving because Antioch Builds Community has been hard at work for almost five years helping to improve the quality of life for NECD residents.
Nonetheless, founder Rev. Dr. Michael D. Page thinks the empty lot with the sign can help create a focus area to increase support for the organization.
“Antioch Builds Community is a faith-based, non-profit organization that addresses the social concerns in our community,” said Page. Page and others recognize that there are a number of people in the community who are lacking employment and resources to help them achieve a better life.
The primary way they help is by providing a transitional home for people coming out of prison and resources they need to get a job.
“It gives them a place to live for free until employment,” said Page. “They are given tools to succeed.”
The Department of Justice defines recidivism as criminal acts that result in the re-arrest, reconviction, or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three year period following a prisoner’s release.
The North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission’s 2008 study found that 38.7 percent of felons were rearrested, 26.4 percent were reconvicted, and 29.1 were re-incarcerated.
Among the factors that decrease recidivism are post-release supervision and employment.
Although Antioch Builds Community plans to build a home on the 1415 Holloway St. lot, they realized that they could begin helping more quickly by renovating an old home. The organization decided to move to that option first.
They have a home that has been opened for two-years. “We’re working to keep it occupied. Right now we’re looking at selling the current location and moving back to the site where we really are,” said Page.
Marion Bailey, the chairperson for Antioch Builds Community says that most of the problems around the area were that some people had nowhere to stay.
“We try to provide them with clothes,” said Bailey. “We have served those not in the house also.”
Bailey explains that the organization which began in 2006 has been actively working since late 2007 or early 2008.
Besides the transitional home, Antioch Builds Community has a summer camp for at-risk youth although all youth are welcome.
Bailey said that they also provide support to single parents for families in which the other parent is incarcerated.
While they recognize that improving quality of life is a process that takes time, Antioch Builds Community knows that the journey is easier with some help along the way.
Photo caption: Antioch Builds Community plans to have a future building on this property to help the needs of the community. (Staff photo by Chanel Coley)