An Eastern Carolina bishop has made it his mission to help those at-risk, or those with a criminal history, become productive members of our communities.
"This program has really opened my eyes and taught me that there's another way," says Michael Alligood.
Alligood's old way had him in and out of jail on drug trafficking charges involving prescription drugs.
"I got addicted at a young age and was dependent on the drug. I had to sell drugs to make a living and support my habit," he explains.
Bishop Samuel Jones started the at-risk youth program, known as Purpose of God Annex, in 1999. Project New Hope, a tough love faith-based initiative, was founded in 2007.
Alligood graduated from Project New Hope in 2011 and has had a job ever since. Many others have similar stories with the program.
Bishop Jones says, "We have served a total 1,500 in the last seven years. We were able to place about 800 to work in the local community and help provide more taxpayers back into our community. It allows these young men and women to prove to the community they want another chance."
Supporters from business, law enforcement, and the community gathered Thursday night in Washington to celebrate the program's achievements. The event also raised funds to keep the program going.
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