How We Help
The mission of Dismas House is to improve lives and strengthen communities by providing the formerly incarcerated with holistic reentry programming that breaks the cycle of incarceration.
Dismas House provides our residents with a uniquely warm and family-like atmosphere, in addition to a comprehensive array of services that include housing and other basic needs, health and well-being, life skills, and legal support. Our goal is to support our residents as they navigate the challenging transition from prison or jail back to the community and help them overcome the many barriers to successful reentry.
As the premier men’s reentry campus in the state of Tennessee, Dismas House stands at the forefront by offering a wide array of evidence-based programming not traditionally offered by other reentry facilities.
We take a trauma-informed approach to the care of our residents, many of whom are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. Our comprehensive mental health program includes on-site individual, family and group therapy on a weekly basis. Substance use disorders are addressed through our Recovery track programming that includes daily 12-step meetings and detailed relapse prevention plans. Skill-based groups, like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), help residents practice emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, and distress tolerance skills.
Thanks to a community mental health grant, we have partnered with another organization that services returning citizens- Tennessee Prison Outreach Ministry (TPOM)- to do both in-house individual and family therapy. Three of the therapists are enrolled in graduate school programs for counseling in Marriage and Family Therapy. Our fourth therapist is pursuing a graduate degree in social work.
These therapists work in partnership with our Care Team, on a weekly basis, to provide individualized care and relapse prevention plans.
Case managers work with residents on short- and long-term goals, transition plans, gaining employment, and achieving academic goals such as HiSET and earning/completing a college degree or vocational certificate. Job readiness training is provided through our partnership with Project Return. Weekly finance and computer classes help residents gain financial footing and be better prepared to join the 21st century workforce. Pro-social behaviors are practiced through participation in community events, group meetings, and our volunteer-hosted community dinners.
The Dismas financial education curriculum is offered through a partnership with Fifth Third Bank and includes a series of four courses – budgeting & saving, boosting credit, eliminating debt, and protecting one’s identify. They have begun offering a popular fifth bonus course – first time home ownership. Fifth Third has made a digital learning platform tailormade for Dismas residents that includes 35 short, interactive classes on every financial topic you could imagine. In the age of COVID-19, having such an accessible, digital resource for all our residents, is both beneficial and innovative. What makes Fifth Third different from other banks is that they do not charge any fees to our residents and will open accounts for those with convictions that many banks would not take on.