Working to instill hope and rebuild lives

Who We Are


Provide hope and basic needs, through Christ’s love and truth, to inmates of all faiths, during, and after, incarceration.


Formerly incarcerated individuals make successful transactions into the community.


We at Fresh Start Ministries believe all humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). We also believe all humans can be renewed and put on a new self, a new start, through partnership with God as Colossians 3:10 says: And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

As we already see, the goodness in you, as a Child of God, born in His Image. It is enough that we believe. And it is for that reason, we chose to help those who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated, find a new life, a new start at living a life in the community.

What We Do

Adult Mentoring Program

Adult Mentoring Program

The Adult Mentoring Program’s primary objective is to connect individuals that have been recently incarcerated with volunteer mentors who invest their time, love, and experience to guide the individual as they pursue their reintegration into society.
Jail Ministry Program

Jail Ministry Program

The purpose of the Jail Ministry Program is to proclaim to inmates that Christ offers them forgiveness and that they have a future worthy of hope.
Jail Volunteer Program

Jail Volunteer Program

The mission of Fresh Start Ministries starts within the correctional facilities of Linn County, Iowa. This includes visits to any interested individual wanting to talk to Jail Minister, a RISE Navigator or to any of the many jail volunteers who daily come to visit with those who are imprisoned. This visits may include a kind word, a prayer, a request for reading materials, or simply talking
Juvenile Detention Center Ministry

Juvenile Detention Center Ministry

Fresh Start Ministries provides a Youth Minister to the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center on a part-time basis. The Youth Minister spends on average 20 hours a week with the youth at the Linn County Detention Center.
RISE Program

RISE Program

Our goal at RISE is to help the newly released client to negotiate society and to provide emotional support with such tasks as: finding safe housing, employment, transportation, household items and clothing items. In addition, we help connect clients to other needed community resources.

The IMpact We make

Since the year 2000 I’ve been blessed to volunteer through Fresh Start Ministries at the Linn County Correction Center.
I cannot tell you how blessed I have been by being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to men who know very little or nothing at all of the gospel.
There is a great need to minister to these men and I am blessed to be able to do so.  Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will truly change a man’s life.
Fresh Start Ministries has given me the opportunity to minister this message countless numbers of times. 

Don Williams, Linn County Correctional Center Volunteer
It is when we (as volunteers) are able to step out of our comfort zone and open our hearts … that we experience the most growth.  We all need someone who listens with both their ears and heart.  For many of our participants RISE is a safe community to which they can belong.  This has been … most gratifying … since my retirement.  I feel I am making a real difference in the lives of individuals who have been marginalized in our community.

Kay Jahnel, Rise Navigator

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