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In 1972, Captain Andy Mathieu, a Navy and Coast Guard Veteran, and friend, Ed Dodson, managed an alcoholic rehabilitation center. This enterprise operated as an outreach of the Riverside United Methodist Church. Within eighteen months it evolved into a larger outreach becoming the first in the nation to experiment with the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.
“Rehabilitation with Dignity” was a dream of Roberto Perez, a lay preacher; Reverend O. Dean Martin, Pastor of the Riverside United Methodist Church; and Jack Sandstrom, Director of the Dade Community Correction and Rehabilitation Department. Together, they envisioned a halfway house that offered the means for those with a first-time offense the opportunity to rebuild their lives. In addition, they desired to establish an environment with caring people as a replacement for the hardened atmosphere ex-offenders were accustomed to.
Riverside Christian Ministries, Inc. began in 1973 and was the first organization in the nation to experiment with the rehabilitation of offenders. Riverside House opened as a joint project of Riverside United Methodist Church and the Dade County Correction and Rehabilitation Department.
Mr. Bell became Executive Director of Riverside House in July of 1977. As a former ex-offender, Mr. Bell was no stranger to the feelings of frustration, anger, and rebellion often felt by those with similar backgrounds. Through the continuous outpouring of Mr. Bell’s personal life experiences with fellow men and women, and, the dedicated, hard work of staff and Board members, the ministry of Riverside House has reached thousands of ex-offenders through jail groups, out-client participation, prison outreach, and inner-city activities.
Founded : 1973
Director : Cleveland Bell III
Mission : The mission of Riverside House is to guide men and women convicted of criminal activity into becoming productive citizens through a nondenominational, faith-based approach.
weburl : https://www.riversidehouse.org
What Are the Next Steps to Starting Your life?
For Employment and Housing/Shelter- Partner with local resources and agencies that assists ex-offenders with finding employment and training. - Understand employer incentives for hiring ex-offenders. - Consider apprenticeship programs or self-employment. - Search the Internet.- Establish an e-mail address.
For Personal Identification and Driver's License Reinstatement- Obtain personal identification documents immediately when released from jail. - Seek assistance to reinstate your driving privileges.
Reentering the community after incarceration can be a difficult transition.
Reentering the community after incarceration can be a difficult transition. This App is designed to help individuals who are transitioning back into the community, locate resources to assist with the following:1. Housing2. Employment 3. Government Assistance 4. Legal Council 5. Legal Documentation 6. Physical Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Treatment7. Veteran resources
Riverside House Programs
What We Offer
Riverside House offers four core programs:
Our Residential Reentry Program assists offenders in making a successful transition from prison to the community by providing a residence while participants receive job placement assistance, life skills training, educational opportunities, family reunification assistance and substance abuse counseling.
Our Non-Residential Support Program ensures all offenders - Riverside graduates and anyone adjusting to life after incarceration - have guidance on the path to a new life. This includes spiritual guidance, support groups, individual counseling, and employment and life skills training.
Our Community Partnerships Program brings together a variety of organizations for the purpose of providing support and educational programs within institutions and beyond. We partner with Faith-based Organizations, Community Agencies, and Correctional Institutions to ensure synergy in changing the lives of our clients long-term.
Lastly, our Spiritual Development Program that is a non-denominational, faith-based program, offers individuals who feel imprisoned in mind or spirit a place of refuge while providing spiritual and social guidance.
We are growing our Non-Residential Support Program!
Riverside House understands that it can be a difficult and overwhelming transition back into the community, which is why we are expanding to various site locations throughout Miami-Dade County.
Services include but are not limited to:
- New Member Orientation
- 9 Weeks Life Skills Educational Training
- Substance Use/Abuse Support Services
- Bible Study Groups
- Mental Health
- Family Services
Brownsville Church of Christ
4561 NW 33rd Ct.
Miami, FL 33142z
Contact: Chaplain Harrell Henton
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Thursday 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Friday 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Services provided in English and Spanish