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The start of New Beginnings-Big Country

A transitional housing program for women getting out of prison.

ABILENE, Texas — The nonprofit, New Beginnings-Big Country is a transitional housing program for women coming out of prison.

Founder, Missy Denard dedicated her life to rehabilitation and began her jail ministry in 2002.

Denard visited the Taylor County Jail to hold weekly services, she then had a vision that came to life in 2010.

"We give them the tools that they learn how to live a different life, how to go back into the community and be successful…that they are not just a number,” Denard said.

Over the years, more than 700 women have been given a second chance.

With the help of housing, the women of the ministry give back by running the resale boutique called, Inner Creations. Its driven by donations from the community.

"All of the clothes and purses and jewelry and the women make some of the art pieces and crosses,” Denard said.

Members of the ministry like, Lori Mellinger say they have joined a sisterhood.

"By the time you make it to prison I think that many, many people have lost faith in you, so to have someone who believed in us before she even saw us is such a big deal,” Mellinger said.

Housing has increased throughout the years and the nonprofit hopes to expand the resale shop to continue serving the women of the ministry.

New Beginnings will be part of Abilene Gives this upcoming week. You can donate by going to, https://www.abilenegives.org/

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