One Touch Ministry, perceived to be a church organization by some, is best defined by the Program Directors who view the often confused term “ministry” as a work. This faith-based organization had its humble beginnings in the old Bellemont Hotel when one day in 1997, an ex-offender showed up at the hotel and announced “I’m home!”
He had been to the hotel before and thought everyone who worked at the establishment was so nice and helpful. The Jacksons who managed the hotel helped this man change his life and successfully re-enter the community. As word spread throughout the prison population, more and more ex-offenders began to reside and call the Bellemont Hotel “home.”
With its genesis stemming out of a need to create a strong support network that encompassed family, friends, and a healthy professional relationship with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Corrections, and the Office of Probation and Parole, what we know now as One Touch Ministry evolved naturally -out of purpose- to assist ex-offenders as they struggled to get their lives back on track.
Realizing the tremendous demand, by 2000, One Touch Ministry (OTM) was officially created as a non-profit organization. By 2005, the Bellemont Hotel was the operating base for One Touch Ministry and the exclusive residence (“home”) for many returning citizens.
With an established history of partnering and collaborating, between 2006 and 2013 OTM had housed, referred to other organizations, or assisted thousands of returning citizens with their re-entry housing needs. During that time, less than 1% committed a new felony, only 5% returned to jail or prison for non-criminal parole/probation violations, and less than 1% absconded from supervision.
According to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections web site (http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/), “People are spending years, sometimes decades, cycling in and out of probation and parole offices and prisons, seemingly unable to disengage from the criminal justice system. In
OTM is a faith-based program that believes when returning citizens have a stable housing environment, a support network, post-release programming, and employment search capability, they will prosper and successfully re-enter society. Other services we provide are one-on-one belief therapy counseling, random drug screening, and Overcomers sessions.
Making a difference in the life,of one returning citizen will not only affect that individual, but has a ripple effect that resounds positively throughout our community.
Today, with the continued help of the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, One Touch Ministry has been actively assisting returning citizen reintegrate into society for the past twenty (20) years.