Nun helps former prisoners get back on their feet

She followed a calling, and now a former nun is helping women recently released from prison.

HOUSTON - The church-like building in east Houston used house Catholic priests. But now, it houses women who have just been released from prison.

On this day, they’re taking a photography class. One of the many things offered here.

It’s called Angela House: a place for women who need help getting back on their feet after being locked up.

"This place means to me, a new beginning. It means to me, from the world I’m from, I’ve got hope that I can change," said resident Keyanda Oaks.

Angela House is a nonprofit that was started back in 2002 by Catholic nun, Sister Maureen O’Connell.

"What did Jesus say to us? Where are the least of our brothers and sisters and what are we doing for them? Who are the most vulnerable?" Sister Maureen said.

This nun knows a thing or two about public service. She was a police officer in Chicago for more than a decade. Then she got the calling to be a nun.

But she doesn’t consider herself a hero.

"Heroes are people who come out of the criminal justice system and then get their life together and get a job and have a home and be able to reconnect with their family. That’s a hero," she said.

Hundreds of women have stayed at Angela House through the years where they get training and counseling. Sister Maureen says the success rate has been high. She’d like to see more places like Angela House helping women turn their lives around.

If you know of someone you think is helping their community, send us an email.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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