13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Our Mission Statement: To provide transitional housing for ex-offenders with programs that enable them to return to society as committed Chrisitans and productive citizens.
WELCOME TO OUR HOME
This home is nothing fancy or elaborate, but it is a safe place, a peaceful place where men just coming out of prison can begin to let their guard down (which they have not been able to do in a long time), and be accepted. Many tell us they can feel the presence of the Lord as soon as they come on the property.
On their immediate release from prison, we provide individuals with a place to live, food, and clothing, and we assist them in meeting conditions of their release, with transportation, obtaining identification and other legal documents, and finding a job. We help them to grow in their faith, and become contributing members of our community.
Reverend Jim Russo moved it this site in 1980, intending to provide housing and assistance to individuals released from incarceration. One could say it flew here on the wings of prayer. The building represented the beginning of one man’s dream, a true home for men released from prison. Reverend Russo, literally moved mountains to bring The Development Center to life. Thirty years later, the Center remains, providing for the immediate needs of up to 16 men as they work to remain free, through faith in Jesus Christ.
It is not the tax dollars that are saved when a man successfully reintegrates into society that matters most. It is the individual, his attitude, his successes and his joys in being free from the shackles that bound him to a life of crime and ultimate despair. Just as the weakest link in a chain determines it's strength, so goes our society. The Development Center rebuilds society's weakest links into strong, productive citizens.
Our challenge is to keep Jim’s Dream alive and growing. Join Us!!
On February 1, 2013, Rev. Jean French Russo received a Human Rights Award from the Church Women United. They are a national womens' group. The award ceremony was held at the Longboat Key Island Chapel.