An Oklahoma City nonprofit recently received a grant from Boeing to help veterans involved in the criminal justice system.
The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM) received the grant. TEEM primarily serves men with alcohol and substance abuse issues by “giving a hand up to individuals re-entering society, through educational preparation, social services, and job training and placement.”
The nonprofit already offers services to all veterans. The grant allows for TEEM to travel to Shawnee to help meet the need in Pottawatomie County.
“The battle is not done when they come into civilian life,” said Luke Theimer, the Veterans Initiative Site Supervisor at TEEM. “There is a huge need in the areas of substance abuse, mental health, employment, whenever you have that stigma, the felony on your record. That makes a big difference in getting a job.”
The grant awarded to TEEM was upwards of $100,000 which will allow the nonprofit to travel twice a month to Shawnee.
TEEM operates out of the Oklahoma Court Services building in Shawnee.
“We are trying to focus on any justice involvement, whether they are in jail or just getting out,” said Theimer.
After all, TEEM members say, everyone deserves a second chance.
“I think it is our responsibility as a society to serve those who have served us,” Theimer said. “When we have people that have all the resources they need, they are less likely to make the wrong choices.”
For more information about TEEM or how to contact the nonprofit, visit their website.