Doors of Hope has been serving as a reentry initiative for the incarcerated and those being released from incarceration in Rutherford County and surroundings since 2011. Having started as a teaching endeavor in the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center with 12 students, one unpaid teacher and 4 volunteers, the agency has expanded services to include 5-days a week education and transition planning in each of Rutherford County’s correctional facilities, as well as a comprehensive Reentry program, including emergency shelter, transitional housing, and program housing for those who would otherwise be homeless or returning to a high-risk environment upon release. Although the focus is reentry services for ex-offenders, Doors of Hope also accepts applications and provides identical programming for those completing drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs, as space permits.
We help non-violent offenders, who are committed to actively seeking change in their lives. They must be nominated by the Correctional Staff to attend our life skill classes up to 120 days before they are released from the Center. We teach personal values, responsibility, and practical life skills for life after prison. We mentor our clients and help them navigate the many reentry challenges they face before and after release. Doors of Hope has a proven record of success in reducing recidivism and coaching ex-offenders to become responsible, respectable, contributing members of the community. We are actively involved with many partner organizations so we can provide the type of comprehensive assistance needed during the critical phase when inmates transition back to the local community.
Meet our Founder
Maridel Williams earned a B.A. in Management & Human Resources from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN. After a 15 year career in finance and business management, she spent 5 years as a founding Pastor for Real Life Community Church where she led, motivated, and trained volunteers in a faith community with strong outreach impact.
Maridel founded Doors of Hope after helping returning women being released from detention. She discovered that many of these women had no one to assist them when they left confinement. She established Doors of Hope to help them successfully transition to productive members of society.
Her volunteer experiences include Habitat for Humanity and CASA. She was a Leadership Training Consultant for two years and taught Organizational Development to churches and non-profit groups.
In 2011, Maridel was Office Manager for the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon County. During the year and a half while working for United Way, Maridel mentored at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville. Here she identified the need and was inspired to create a transitional program like Doors of Hope, Inc. She brings a compassionate heart, an entrepreneurial mind, and an unquenchable enthusiasm to meet this need. Finding no similar program in Rutherford County, Maridel combined her strengths of leadership in churches, non-profits, knowledge of community organizations, and her background in finance and business to begin Doors of Hope, Inc.