Many ex- inmates struggle with trying to resume a normal life once they are released from prison. They say it's difficult to find a job. Many say they eventually turn back to a life of crime. But a Longview couple has made it their life's work to give ex- inmates a chance when no one else will.
Terrell and Galanda McMillan operate a prison ministry in Longview. It is truly their way of using their own experiences to help others. At the age of 16 Terrell began going down the wrong path in life.
"I got into an argument with my father one night and I left home and I started, went to the streets and started living on the streets on my own. Started smoking weed and started selling crack cocaine and I ended up doing 8 years in the pen," says Terrell. Once Terrell was released he found it difficult to change his life around. No one wanted to hire an ex-convict.
Galanda spent part of her childhood, homeless and living in shelters. Now the two have turned their pasts into helping others find a future. Their ministry sends inmates letters, books and magazines. But most importantly they provide shelter once an inmate has been released, as well as job training, and clothing.
"They talk about their dreams when they're in there. They talk about things they want to do when they get out. So when they get out we want to kind of give them an opportunity. Faces that we haven't even seen before we want to give them a shot at doing right," says Galanda.
For the families they also provide them with transportation to visit their loved ones who are incarcerated. It is all the McMillans' way of helping others change their lives around.
The prison ministry also relies on donations.
If you'd like to help, you can call them at 903-757-9189.