Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Click here to return to the Agapé Center homepage

  Content Navigation:
Agapé Center Home
Agapé Center Information
National Conference 2006
Academic Service Learning
Barnabas Award
Housing Opportunities
Local Service
National & International Service & Mission


Housing Development

Coordinator: David Young

Promise Place Women's Halfway House

History and Overview

Promise Place was concieved in the hearts of three women who began entering the Dauphon County prison to conduct weekly ministries of hope, faith, and love with the women prisoners. From that mission Promise Place has grown to meet the needs of paroled women who have no home, no job and little or no help with their children and families. In October 1997, the PROGRAM for Female Offenders, Inc. assumed responsibility for operating Promise Place and implementing programming for owmen in need. Women released from prison have an opportunity to reside in a safe and supportive environment and recieved various programming, all geared in preparing them for a second chance at rebuilding their lives. Promise Place offeres the residents structure and teaches responsibility for reintegration back into society as productive members of the community. Resident's are assisted with GED preparation, job readiness, job search and referals , drug and alcohol treatment, etc. Residents also participate in community service and small group activities during their 6-12 month stay.


40% of women in prison held no job prior to incarceration

64% of women in prison are drug users, and 68% of these used drugs daily before incarceration.

75% of women in prison are mothers

The U.S. prison population recently hit the 1.8 million mark and that's just counting those in prison or jail. Throw in paroless and probationers and the combined number of people under some form of correctional supervsion rises to nearly 6 million-an estimated on out of every 38 adults.

Volunteer Information

We focus on building relationships and accountability through small group activities. During our time at Promise Place we get to know the women by talking, sharing, and relating with one another. We try to build in some quality devotional or story time and tke prayer equests. This is a great opportunity for Messiah students to offer the women love and support and show them that there are people caring and praying for them. These relationships are not only beneficial to the women at Promise Place, but for the Messiah students who are touched as well. We hear some incredible stories and testimonies form the women and they appreciate hearing our daily struggles as well. Messiah group go out Thursdays 6-8pm from Eisenhower Circle.


"My favorite memory of Promise Place was probably our Valentine's Day celebration together. We brought easy bake cookies...and 'Finding Nemo'. And there we were, fifteen or twenty of us, all gathered in the living room of the house, eating cookies, and laughing over the adventure of Nemo's father. Our age differences, background, or socio-economic status didn't matter-we were all just people laughing and feeling together, struggling to figure out this mystery of life together."

-Messiah Student Volunteer



Habitat For Humanity


Habitat For Humanity works with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can experience God's love, and can live and grow into all that God intends.

Volunteer Info

The Campus Chapter leads small groups on one-time service projects in the Harrisburg area, raises funds for Harrisburg Habitat, holds educational events on campus to inform the student body about Habitat, and participates in a special Spring Break Service Trip. Trips go out Saturadays from 8:00am-2:30pm. Some additional trips have been planned for weekdays.






Habitat For Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to make adequate, afforable shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety.

The concept that grew into HFH was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian farming community founded in 1942 outside of Americus, Ga. The Fullers, who had recently left a successful business to pursue Christian service, began talking with Jordan, cofounder of Koinonia, about developing a concept for "partnership housing". In a letter to begin raising funds, they wrote, "What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but co-workers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable, and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance. The Fund for Humanity will meet both of these need."

In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of HFH was begun. In 1984, former president Jimmy Carter took his first Habitat Work Trip. His involvement in Habitat's ministry broiught the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat's work across the nation. Since the, HFH has built and rehabilitated more than 150,000 houses with families in need, becoming a true leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.


Messiah College | One College Avenue | Mechanicsburg PA 17055 | 717-766-2511
Comments or questions? Contact the Agapé Center WebMaster.
© 2012 Messiah College