General Introduction

House of Grace was established in Haifa by the late Kamil Shehade and his wife Agnes Shehade, and since 1982 has been working to empower the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups throughout Haifa and the Upper Galilee, engaged in the difficult, yet inspiring work of restoring dignity to the most marginalized members of Israeli society. As it continues in its mission, House of Grace is animated by the words of the Bible, "I was in prison and you came to visit me" (Mathew 25:36). After a childhood friend of late Kamil committed suicide in prison because he could no longer provide for his sick mother and was therefore rejected by his community, Kamil Shehade decided he needed to take action and help other prisoners. Kamil and Agnes Shehade first began inviting released prisoners into their humble home in Haifa at the beginning of the 1980’s. There, they provided a warm, informal environment and a supportive framework, encouraging their guests to reevaluate their lives and start living up to their potential. Released prisoners greatly needed assistance, and many quickly found their way back to prison due to a lack of a proper rehabilitation program and support from official institutions and their communities. As an outcome, House of Grace opened its doors as the first rehabilitation hostel for released prisoners in Israel. We have developed a recognized holistic program in order to meet the needs of this unique target group while addressing larger social issues. Our program aims to assist released prisoners who are ready to rebuild their lives and will be dedicated to remold their future and create a healthy relationship with the community.