The Mission

Reducing Recidivism, Transforming Lives

Constructing Futures works to significantly reduce the recidivism rate in America while simultaneously impacting the low income housing epidemic through the training and development of former inmates spiritually, mentally and vocationally.

This unique process will produce a group of people who will (many for the first time) feel a sense of ownership and achievement. Furthermore these skills are in an industry that has been increasingly experiencing a labor shortage. This new found confidence will bear fruit in the manner of low-cost housing, recovery houses and potentially women’s shelters. These are the roots from which most of these offenders have come from.

Addressing a Need

The United States has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world, with more than 2.3 million people currently sitting in prisons. Tax payers bear the brunt of the cost, paying approximately $82 billion dollars a year to maintain our mass incarceration system, which has tripled in the last decade.

The end result of this punish and incarcerate philosophy is that nearly 2 out of 3 inmates released from prison today will return within the next 3 years. Most of these statistics can be attributed to the lack of skills and resources, both personally and vocationally. They give up.

The inability to make ends meet often plays the major role in why one returns to crime.

Offering Opportunity

Rather than handing a bus ticket and a parole officer appointment to those just released, Constructing Futures begins its relationship with these men and women while they are in release status. This helps them more comfortably transition from jail or prison to the work force. Our services build confidence and provide the ability to earn more than just a minimum wage.

Our training can take a person who might only be able to obtain a minimum-wage job and equip them with valuable, marketable skills. In a few short weeks, they’ll develop practical knowledge such as how to read a tape measure, hang drywall, or paint a wall nearly. These skills can nearly double their income-earning capacity.


Executive Director: Rick Gray

My name is Rick Gray, and I have a vision. A vision of a country where people who make mistakes aren’t just locked up and forgotten about. Men and women who are children in adult bodies, suffering from primarily addiction issues, but more importantly heart sickness.

I am more than qualified to speak of such things as I myself was incarcerated in the Kansas Department of Corrections in 1993. Due to the grace and mercy of my God, and the fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, I have not found it necessary to drink, do any drug or go back to jail or prison since. I am a Volunteer in Corrections at Missouri Eastern Correctional Facility, and I have been taking NA meetings into the prison system for 18 years.

I am also a General Contractor in St. Louis, Missouri doing mostly rehab work and some remodeling for the past 17 years. I have 10 years of construction experience. In addition, I have been to New Orleans 5 times in the past 2 years helping with the Katrina Relief effort. The desire of my heart and my vision combines aspects of all of these experiences. It was suggested by my pastor to just share my vision with as many people as possible and let God do the rest. So, I humbly ask you to learn about the challenges facing men and women just released from prison and consider how you may help or be involved in some capacity.

While I know that this concept is not new, I am assured that the most important difference is that myself and others who will be involved in the training have been there. These guys listen and respond to former inmates and give a credibility that otherwise would not be present. It is of great importance that this vision continues.