December 11 2012
Midnight Ministry shows up to help ex-convicts when they need it the most. Learn how a few simple acts of kindess could made the difference in the life of these returning citizens.
When Milwaukee County inmates are released from jail or correctional facilities, it's often without much advanced notice. In fact, ex-offenders used to be released at midnight. Because they are released with exactly what they were arrested with...many have no money, improper clothing (imaging being arrested in the summer and it's now January) and nowhere to go. The release time has recently switched to 10am, but the basic needs of these returning citizens remain the same.
Midnight Ministry, a program created by Wisconsin Lutheran Institutional Ministries Staff Minister Mart Rosewicz, is working to help ease the transaction for these returning citizens from the moment they are released in downtown Milwaukee. Everyday, volunteers hand out food, water, warm clothing, bus tickets and WELS literature. A New Testament is offered alongside information about local WELS congregations and support groups for ex-offenders.
Staff Minister Mart Rosewicz is the main contact and volunteer coordinator behind Midnight Ministry. Barb Rosewicz is there everyday, too. She prepares the lunches and over the course of a year, that adds up as thousands of men and women are released. Every Thursday night, Staff Minister Mart and Barb Rosewicz run "God & Grub" at Salem East, located at 2400 N Cramer Street. They serve ex-offenders and their family members a home-cooked meal, lead a Bible study and offer time for fellowship.
Bernard is a new volunteer to the Midnight Ministry. He's an ex-offender released just a few months ago. With a desire to change his life once released from jail, Bernard volunteers his time to try and make a difference to those released that have no support system. "I just want people to know they aren't alone." Bernard says. He is currently working on submitting a grant to fund a housing facility for ex-convicts that have nowhere to stay.
Midnight Ministry is always looking for volunteers or donations of food or money. More information on Midnight Ministry can be found online at www.wels.net