A Message from the Executive Director
The throes of the holiday season are upon us with Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities, where we attend memorable galas, dinners, and nights on the town with friends. It’s an exciting time with lights, glitter, music, and unique magic filling the air. We try to experience it all, to live our lives to the fullest. But what if there could be more? Listen to what Jesus said in an account from Luke, the physician, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles:
When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back, and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. - Luke 14:12-13
By contrast, it seems to be a given in our society that there is an expected, ‘tit for tat’ or the proverbial “I’ll scratch your back, and you scratch mine.” However, Jesus wants us to follow Him into a more redemptive purpose in our relationships, whether with family or friends. He challenges us to bless, benefit, and befriend those who cannot repay us for our interest, concern, and kindness. The reward for doing so is the intrinsic blessing of helping someone else and springs from a deep trust that what we do and how we do it matters to our Abba, Father.
I don’t want to sound trite, but this is the truth! It IS better to bless than be blessed; that’s when a fuller life in Jesus Christ springs forth.
So, I invite you to bless the disciples of CrossWalk Center with your presence among them, giving of your time. It means a lot to them when someone cares enough to have a meaningful conversation over coffee and dessert, share a prepared meal together, take them to an event, or even come participate in their group Bible Study. I promise you, your life and theirs will be fuller and richer for you having done so.
Financial Update - New Fiscal Year
2022 - 2023 Fiscal Year Fundraising Goals
September 1, 2022 marked the beginning of the new fiscal year, with an updated budget and new strategic goals.
Primary Raise: $1,074,000
Secondary Raise: $176,000
To fund one additional Women's and one additional Men's Discipleship Home, for a total of 8 Re-entry Homes.
Current Program & Housing Budget: $1,400,869
Program Expansion & Scaling Objectives
2022 - 2033: Year One of 3-Year Strategic Plan
As CrossWalk Center continues to grow, we have developed goals for the continued expansion of our programs and community for the coming year and beyond.
- 2 New Adoptive Churches; 30 New Trained Volunteers; 15 New Active Volunteers
Steppin' Out Program in Prisons:
- 4 New Prisons; 4 New Classes/4 times Annually; 317 New Client Disciples Enrolled
Startin' Out for Men:
- 1 New Discipleship Home; 18 New Residents; 30 New 6-Month Milestone Graduates
Startin' Out for Women:
- 1 New Discipleship Home; 10 New Residents; 15 New 9-Month Milestone Graduates
End of Year Giving
We Ask You to Imagine...
Imagine a mistake you have made in your lifetime. Now imagine that mistake following you for the rest of your life, affecting your ability to work, provide for a family, or maintain a normal lifestyle. This is what women and men released from prison experience daily .
Once transitioned out of prison, men face tremendous challenges as they work to reintegrate back into society. Every day, five days a week, 245 days a year, 50 or more of the 16,300-plus individuals released annually from Texas Department of Criminal Justice prisons arrive by bus at Houston's Midtown bus terminal. CrossWalk Center believes everyone deserves a second chance at life. With a mission to advance God's kingdom through Seamless Re-entry Discipleship, CrossWalk bridges critical social services and ministry between prison life and freedom. The programs and services CrossWalk provides have changed the lives of hundreds of men who thought they had no chance of succeeding, including Chad McCardell.
We Ask You to Hear...
"...for me, Crosswalk was and still is a blessing. They gave me something I personally feel like I've never had, a safe and loving environment. I believe that if you have any kind of will to become a better person, then this is the place. The staff love on you and always place God first. Just praying together and them going out of their way for you makes you want to do better even when you want to give up. And they believe in every man - that's the part that kept me. That's what makes me want to continue to walk in faith and to help the next man. That's the meaning of CrossWalk if you ask me. To help the next man develop while walking in faith." - Chad McCardell
We Ask You to Join...
Returning citizens need advocates, guides, and encouraging re-entry coaches to walk alongside them upon release from prison as they re-enter society, transitioning to live out their faith in freedom.
We Ask You to Give...
Making a gift to the Annual Giving Campaign can help ensure that every CrossWalk Center disciple will have the opportunity to live Jesus’ promised fuller, greater, richer life – never returning to prison.
Your donations make a real and tangible impact for real people. They provide for practical support - like phones, transportation and housing - as well as CWC programs like discipleship and living-wage job placement. Most importantly, they provide hope.
This year, as you consider the gifts you will purchase for your friends, co-workers and family, we ask you to include CrossWalk on your gift list. Whether $5 or $5,000, your donation blesses people and families during this special season, and for a lifetime.
We Thank You for Your Generosity...
Your gift will make an enormous impact and bring us one step closer to providing hope to people going from broken prison life to whole-hearted intentional living, as the unique individuals God created and intended them to be.
Monthly Giving Program
Become a Friend of CrossWalk
We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you - your energy, your prayers, and your money - in this work to which God has called us.
By joining our Monthly Giving Program, your gift will allow us to take a planned, long-term approach to grow our Seamless Re-Entry Discipleship from the inside out.
Recurring, monthly giving means low administration costs with more of your gift going to where it is needed most: to our returning citizens. We will be able to grow CrossWalk Center's re-entry discipleship ministry, expand our reach, and widen our impact.
The successful re-entry journey begins here.
Thank you for supporting our efforts and helping make a difference!
Intercessory Prayer Requests
God has established His kingdom on earth in such a way that we must ask for help. We ask the Lord for help, and now we're asking you for help. Our men need your prayers, as they experience re-entry into society. Please pray for God to grant our men confidence, peace, security, wisdom, and strength as they journey in freedom. Please keep the men of CrossWalk in your prayers.
Casey John Cotton
Man of the Month
Levelle Watson came to CrossWalk after serving time in prison for 30 years. He was always a hard worker, and early on as a teenager he was cutting grass, running errands, and doing odd jobs to make money. A real job came available with a retail store, and he took it. Although he was an exceptional, loyal employee, the owners had to let him go because he didn't have a social security number.
You see, Levelle never got a social security number as a child. In school, a teacher gave him a number to use, and when it came time to work a real job, the number was not valid. It was frustrating not to be able to work, seeing others get jobs, earning enough to buy and have nice things. At that time, he tried to obtain a social security number but ran into a lot of administrative roadblocks.
Very quickly, as an immediate solution for not being employable without a number, Levelle turned to selling drugs to make money. In one instance he was robbed at gun point, and eventually committed the same crime against others. At the age of 21, he was caught - having committed several offenses, including robbery - and was given a 19-year sentence, of which he served 14 years.
When he was released, he still suffered from not having a social security number and having to deal with red tape and more administrative stonewalling. Again, he opted to earn money the only way he knew, the old way. Within 6 months, Lavelle was back in prison serving another 18 years of a 25-year sentence.
"The first time I was released, I was dropped off and left to the streets. I tried again to get my Social Security number but couldn't get any help. I still don't have a social security number, but things are different because this time out I have CrossWalk. I have never had any help like this before, and it makes a big difference. I don't know what I would do without CrossWalk."
Levelle has been offered several jobs and could have been hired on his first day with CrossWalk. However, almost 8 months since his release, Levelle is still in pursuit of securing a Social Security number.
"The love, support, and patience I have received from CrossWalk has made it possible for me to keep pursuing my goal of a Social Security number and eventual gainful employment. It has helped me grow in God and do things differently. I could have gotten things illegally, but I want to do it the right way. I felt bad about my bills, but Kathy Vosburg and the team encouraged me to stay on the right path. They didn't just tell me but allowed me to work on small jobs and help in the ministry. Different jobs have opened opportunities to do other small jobs."
"The chaplains, the coaches, and the entire CrossWalk staff have been there for me the entire time. They have been there for me like no one else."
Levelle Watson has been relentless in his pursuit of his SSID, visiting the Social Security offices weekly and oftentimes daily. "He comes to this office almost every day," boasted a security guard at the Social Security office.
Parole has allowed Levelle to make two trips to his native Louisiana and he is planning another trip specifically in pursuit of a Social Security number. He has vowed not to be deterred like he was years ago. He continues to be a leader in the house, serves on the house council and encourages all the newcomers to stay the course no matter what they're up against, by seeking and staying in relationship with Father God.
"I have learned so much at CrossWalk, and through my personal tests and trials, I know God will bless me. I could never repay them for what they have done."
CrossWalk has reached out to Senator Cornyn's office for support, to no avail.
Mr. Watson has been an encouraging force in the house, often taking the time to mentor the younger men that come in. He is a natural leader, managing and leading the team everywhere he goes. He also leads by example, and has come around to the rules of the house; at CrossWalk, overnight visits are not permitted until 4 full months, with no violations of rules. "You know, I didn't agree with all the rules at first, but now I see how important they were to help me then and even now. CrossWalk is my family. "
"The two most important things CrossWalk has done for me is they have supported and encouraged me all along the way, and they gave me a chance. They trusted me, guided me, loved me, and supported me. CrossWalk has been with me every step of the way. I look at CrossWalk as the good Samaritans while I was stranded on the road. Others looked down at me for a lot of reasons, and because I had come out of prison. But CrossWalk gave me a chance and believed in me. Everyone wants a chance and now with CrossWalk I had a group help with my new chance. "
Thanksgiving at Rosebury
Thank you to Community of Faith for their generous donation for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Rosebury House. With an H-E-B gift card, the residents planned the meal, shopped and prepared it themselves! We can’t thank them enough for helping make that day special for the men of Rosebury.
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
We had a celebrated night of food, fun and fellowship at the Briarwild home.
Women for eight (8) different ministries participated and one of our premier employers' women's groups hosted the decoration party.
Every room in the house was decorated and each client will have their own individual miniature Christmas tree for her nightstand.
At the men's homes, volunteers provided decorations and the guys decorated their Christmas tree, filling the houses with holiday cheer!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
For most of us, the start of a New Year brings with it resolutions and the hope for new beginnings - new healthy habits, new goals, and renewed optimism for the coming year.
At CrossWalk Center, second chances bring daily opportunities to walk a new path and serve each other as neighbors and friends.
As the Lead Resident at Harby House, Wilfred Gaiter and his team stepped up and served their housemates when outside contractors wanted to charge exorbitant prices to fix an issue. The men led major efforts to solve the problem and get everyone back on track.
With great pride in his home, Julius Wells invested time, sweat and elbow grease, and transformed the entire yard of the Beau Lane house from a jungle weeded space to a beautiful place.
These are only two examples of the continual service and fellowship happening every day at CrossWalk. Stay tuned for more stories of new beginnings and life transformations.
Special thanks for everyone who donated to this year's CrossWalk Center Holiday Clothing and Decor Drives. These items help make the holidays extra special for the men and women of CrossWalk.
Volunteers: Facilitators & Coaches
We are looking for men and women who are interested in becoming Seamless Re-entry Discipleship Coaches. So what does this look like, you may be asking?
For those who have a heart for re-entry, but do not feel comfortable going to the unit, becoming a Coach may be for you. Coaches primarily teach and disciple men and women on how to progress in their new circumstances - living free. They may also choose to assist clients with the development of a highly individualized re-entry plan, based on their needs and strengths, and addressing topics like safe-housing, life skills, education, job skills, employment, and family and community reunification.
If you are interested in Seamless Re-entry Discipleship Coaching, please reach out to Kiwanya Tende.
If you have attended one of our Facilitator Trainings and are interested in volunteering in one of the units we serve, this opportunity is for you!
We currently have two openings in the following Units:
Pam Lychner State Jail (Men's)
Friday mornings 7:30-9:00 am
2350 Atascocita Rd, Humble, TX 77396
Carol Young Jail (Women's)
Monday evenings 6:00-7:30 pm
5509 Attwater Ave, Dickenson, TX 77539
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Kiwanya Tende. We have also included the link to TDCJ below.
What's Happening At CrossWalk Center
Supporting our Greater Houston Community
CrossWalk Center was represented at the gala for His Father's Heart Ministry (HFHM). This event served as a fundraiser for HFHM featuring an exhibition of artifacts from Israel to promote the Museum in Katy.
Photo featuring Tracey Gelbaugh, Tracy Dudley, and Paula Robinson.
Paula Robinson and WINGS partner, Executive Director Irma Barbee, attended the Thanksgiving Blessing at the Women's house. Irma and her team will graciously be providing programming for the women of CWC.
Connect With Us
What Your 'Like' and 'Share' Means to CWC
In this era of social media saturation, it's easy to get distracted in the sea of scrolling. However, we all know that feeling when we see a post or video that makes us pause. Whether it's laughter or tears (or sometimes both), the stories that impact us most usually come from someone we know - from people who share our values and care about the same causes we do.
Your 'like' and 'share' go farther than you know! Each time you double-tap, repost, or comment, our reach goes a little farther. When you show your support for CrossWalk Center, it gently invites other people to learn more, and builds our reputation as a cause worth pausing for. You never know who might need to hear our message of hope, or who might be looking for the right place to give and create an impact.
Not a Social Media buff? Consider instead sharing our emails with someone you think might be interested to receive our news, updates and event invitations, or could use some good news in their inbox.
“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.”
- The Beatitudes
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CrossWalk Center, Inc., is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization.