Located in Columbus, Ohio, The House of Redemption (THOR) received its State of Ohio Certification as a non-profit on December 12, 2013, and its federal 501(c)(3) status on September 4, 2014. Since its establishment, THOR has operated under the leadership of its Founder and Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Cynthia F. Burse, and governance of its Executive Board (August 2012-January 2021) and Trustee Board (January 2021-present).
THOR was developed in part by our research, which demonstrated how significant and important a role a ‘home’ over ‘housing’ model played in prison-to-community transitions plans such as ours. We strive not only to promote public safety, but to help transform individual lives as well. Home is much more than just a physical shelter for the body or place to eat and store one's things, it's also the place inside each of us where we yearn to feel rooted and safe and to belong. Our understanding of home as both a physical place and an internal human condition is the founding principle upon which THOR's work and mission rest.
THOR’s primary mission is as a stepping stone for individual returning citizens in pursuit of a meaningful life. Our mission is lived out as we help them address their long-term residential needs, in two very specific ways. First, by providing a home and lowering their income-to-housing cost-burden from a national average of 50-60 percent to 20 percent. Second, by promoting and teaching our residents a simplistic style of living and comfort totally controlled by their decisions and willingness to give up what they no longer need or want, in order to obtain, keep and achieve what they do. Like-minded community colleagues and partners provide any additional and supplemental services that may be needed.
THOR approaches reentry work from the position of transformative justice, which we define as "the doing of justice in such a way that it leads to a productive change in the thinking, speech, behavior and actions of both the community and those reentering it."
THOR is all about delivering homes, rather than housing, to transform minds, hearts and lives.