Florida Department of Corrections volunteer minister Gilbert Starleigh demonstrates the importance of community outreach for the formerly incarcerated.
A Florida Department of Corrections volunteer minister involved with nonprofit organization Good News Outreach for more than a decade, Gilbert Starleigh is an expert in opening and managing inmate transition homes for formerly incarcerated individuals. Also a longstanding part of Fellowship Baptist Church and its Second Chance Prison Ministries program, Starleigh provides a first-hand insight into the importance of community outreach for those who have been recently released from incarceration.
“Without the work of programs such as Second Chance Prison Ministries and organizations including Good News Outreach, focused on the provision of inmate transition homes, many individuals leaving the Florida Department of Corrections system would be at serious risk of homelessness,” reveals local volunteer minister Gilbert Starleigh.
For more than a decade, Fellowship Baptist Church member Gilbert Starleigh has worked alongside Good News Outreach to assist in the opening and management of inmate transition homes in and around his home city of Tallahassee, Florida. Starleigh is also the director of Fellowship Baptist Church’s Second Chance Prison Ministries initiative.
“Although now retired from day-to-day involvement with Good News Outreach, via my directorship of Fellowship Baptist Church’s Second Chance Prison Ministries here in Tallahassee, and as a volunteer minister, I continue to directly refer those in need of support leaving the Florida prison system to the organization,” explains Gilbert Starleigh, speaking from his home in the north of the Leon County city.
Nonprofit organization Good News Outreach strives to eliminate hunger, homelessness, and isolation among those in need, and works—alongside experts such as Gilbert Starleigh—to open and manage inmate transition homes for the formerly incarcerated as they rejoin the world and become contributing members of society. “Good News Outreach works tirelessly,” says Starleigh, “to provide food, shelter, and social interaction through collaborative efforts within local Tallahassee communities for those who are most in need.”
Together, Gilbert Starleigh and Good News Outreach have achieved incredible success in their inmate transition homes scheme. Working in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections, Good News Outreach and Gilbert Starleigh have now successfully established and continue to operate a number of so-called Mercy Houses. “Our Mercy House transition homes,” Starleigh explains, “offer housing, food, social support, and more, including employment and educational opportunities thanks to our community outreach efforts, to those who need it the most.”
A registered Florida Department of Corrections volunteer minister, Second Chance Prison Ministries director Gilbert Starleigh has now been a member of Fellowship Baptist Church, home to the prison ministry initiative, and also based in Tallahassee, Florida, for almost a decade and a half. Outside of his work with Second Chance Prison Ministries and Good News Outreach, Gilbert Starleigh—known to his friends as Gil—is the owner of Barnes & Starleigh Properties. A proud member of Fellowship Baptist Church—a family of faith dedicated to loving God and honoring Lord Jesus—in his free time, the volunteer minister enjoys a variety of hobbies and other interests.