Resource fair helps ex-offenders make better choices

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Helping people recently released from prison transition successfully into society was the goal of a resource fair in downtown Hattiesburg Wednesday.

The Hattiesburg chapter of Dismas Charities hosted the event, which drew both state and non-profit organizations together to help ex-offenders get a fresh start.

Dismas Charities is based in Louisville Kentucky and has chapters throughout the south that operate residential facilities for those released from the federal prison system.

Wednesday's fair at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center was designed to provide a variety of resources for people all under one roof. Programs focused on jobs, housing, education and counseling participated. Chris Kelly-Patton is the Director of Dismas Charities in Hattiesburg. He hosted the resource fair.

"We must help them whether we like to or not. If we are in the business of course we are going to help them. If we are not in the business of helping, we ought to help. Because as I said earlier they can just as easily be our next door neighbor. And of course our family members also," said Kelly-Patton.

This was the first ever such resource fair organized by Dismas Charities in Hattiesburg.

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