Helping hands abound

Like Sister Paulette Schroeder, other volunteers at CROSSWAEH have a common goal of helping clients successfully transition back into the community.

Margie Maddox, who teaches a modified 12-step program at the facility, meets with men and women at CROSSWAEH for four hours a week. Her program is called Alpha 12-Step Recovery Program and it is led by Maddox and her husband.

Maddox described the program as cognitive restructuring with the application of prayer and Bible, and said it is targeted toward drugs, alcohol or other out-of-control habits.

“We get pretty good participation by the students,” Maddox said.

Maddox said the program has been a success at CROSSWAEH and other correctional facilities because it provides mentorship and teaches accountability.

“You have accountability and mentoring for them on the outside when they get out,” she said. “If they go to meetings on the inside, on the outside they’ll follow up with it because they won’t be afraid.”

Pastor Rich Haner of The Journey church in Tiffin is another volunteer at CROSSWAEH. Haner teaches a Bible class at the men’s facility every Sunday.

“A lot of the guys who come to the class also come down to the church for service,” Haner said.

Haner said the class has been a success. He also keeps in contact with many of his former students.

“We have several guys we still keep in contact with to make sure they continue on with the walk of God,” he said.

Haner said having the ability to teach a Bible class at the facility has been a blessing for his church, which has welcomed many CROSSWAEH clients into the congregation.

“It’s a blessing to The Journey to help these men,” he said.

“Roy,” who has been volunteering to provide Alcoholics Anonymous to CROSSWAEH clients for several years, said he volunteers at the men’s facility as a way of giving back.

“It’s part of giving back what the program has given to me,” he said.

“Roy’s” group meets every other week and he said he has seen success in the 20 to 25 clients who usually attend.

Jason Varney, vice president of correctional programs in Seneca County for Oriana House’s CROSSWAEH facility, said all of CROSSWAEH’s volunteer programs help the clients become accepted into the community and also provides them interaction with the public. Volunteers also serve as role models for the clients, he said.

“It’s important to have (the clients) be accepted in the community and for part of the community to come in and have the clients be exposed to people who are willing to help,” Varney said.

Varney said the volunteers play an important role in getting clients, who he described as good people who may have made bad choices, back on their feet.

“It’s really important. It helps clients feel like they’re part of the greater community,” he said.