About Step by Step
Step by Step Ministry Hope Project is a grassroots 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with headquarters nestled in the urban hub of the westside of town in upstate Greenville, South Carolina. The reentry project is adjacent to this well-known community once dubbed a blighted drug and crime infested neighborhood. The misconceptions that stigmatized this neighborhood and those who lived there plagued by trauma and substance abuse disproportionately for many years. Families of working-class, church-goers, friendly and close-knit. West Greenville families set its foundation on the Catholic and Baptist Church. A neighborhood that thrived for people of color. Although the neighborhood occupied predominately black and brown people; there were a few working-class white families who were friendly neighbors that got along well as others. Neighbors were supportive of each other, cared for neighboring children and lived modestly. It was a community of two-parent households where young men and women attended the public and catholic schools. While father worked textile mills and mother as housekeepers or retail. Brick masons were also plentiful in West Greenville following after the traditions of grandfather and father. The families thrived making incomes meet for their children to complete a college education to land a good career.
However though, in early 1980 drugs crept into the West Greenville neighborhood and prevailed against those it had targeted . . . the black and brown young people disproportionately under a social caste system that was formulated to not only target, but marginalized, and ultimately destroy through criminalization. Because when you get locked-up, you get locked out of your community and society. The lives of those who participated young men and women of color found themselves, not only addicted, but also incarcerated. Drug abuse catapulted widespread across the black communities across america, like a bad virus. The drug despair of those black and brown who committed crimes to support a chronic habit were treated like animals in a cage, as crime rates exploded in the black community and so did mass incarceration. Prison was not a solution then, and is not the solution today. Prison only created more problems. Dumping illicit street drugs in black neighborhoods across america was used as a catalyst to weaken the minorities until it conquered all households and individuals in african american neighborhoods. It is known today, that America incarcerates more of its citizens than any other countries on the globe. Primarily black, brown, and indigenous people. The War on Drugs and Three Strike Law interconnect and significantly contributes to mass incarceration, homelessness, workforce, and voting rights. The criminal justice system in america built the prison-industrial complex by excessive sentencing people of color to never be seen again in society.