Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM) teaches people how to fish. How? For eight years and counting, HIM has served low-skilled, poorly educated, and chronically unemployed men and women by preparing them to obtain and maintain employment and introducing a way of life that fosters the development of the emotional, physical, and spiritual maturity in each student. Instead of bringing a traditional band aid approach by helping people survive in poverty, HIM’s approach is radically different. HIM trains people, through a system of structure and accountability combined with empathy and compassion, how to escape hopelessness and despair found in a lifetime of poverty.
HIM’s curriculum is focused on teaching essential life/soft skills, employment skills, character building, financial management, in addition to problem-solving, critical thinking, anger management, and conflict resolution. HIM combines classroom instruction with intensive case management that assists students with other life issues such as obtaining proper documents and navigating through legal issues. In 2017, due to the HIM’s proven formula of success, the ministry expanded their services into the Birmingham communities of Woodlawn, East Lake, and surrounding areas. In 2019, a partnership with The Foundry Ministries allowed HIM to serve the men seeking help in their program in the Birmingham area. Beginning in April, HIM will offer the same courses to the Women’s Campus of The Foundry. Through a collaborative effort with the Montgomery Baptist Association, HIM expanded into Lowndes County in 2020.
HIM welcomed a new Executive Director in January of 2020. John Bowman first joined the mission of HIM on a volunteer basis several years ago. After 26 years of serving with the Montgomery Police Department, where he completed his career as Chief of Staff, he began his new role as Executive Director one day after retirement. “In the last part of my career with the Police Department, God showed me that jail is not the answer for problems in our society, Jesus is,” says Bowman who adds, “I believe HIM is a cure as it addresses the underlying issues of life. It provides our students with a firm foundation and teaches them how to be self-sufficient in society.”
Volunteers are vital to HIM. There are several different avenues of volunteering available. Volunteers provide lunches to meet physical needs. They provide support and encouragement to students through mentoring one day a week. Volunteers also help students advance their education through tutoring. Finally, volunteers assist with fundraising/special events and through financial support. Learn more about HIM and how you can join the mission at www.hopeinspiredministries.org. †