History

Yesterday's Challenges. Today's Opportunities.

Having served his sentence from 1987 to 1997, Perry understands the challenges that people face when reentering the community. While on the inside (prison), Perry was asked to train fellow inmates on how to remodel homes in connection with Mansfield's Central City Economic Development Council. Rehabbing 11 homes while on the inside, Perry received official letters for his professionalism, leadership, ability to listen and receive direction, and getting along with city employees. These letters recognized and professed that Perry's continuous endeavors were moving him toward a wholeness in his life.

In 1998, after reentering the community, Perry was reflecting upon Isaiah 41 when the following verses grabbed his attention.

Isaiah 41:9 "I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and not rejected you."

"My farthest corners were between 1972 and 1986 which began with selling and using drugs in High School. Following a buddy, I left Ohio on a basketball scholarship to the University of Oregon and dropped deeper into illegal activity and the drug world. Upon returning to Akron, my family labeled me as a 'monster'. Although I believed I had surrendered to God in 1986, I had actually not left all my old ways and the Criminal Justice System (and God) got my attention," said Perry.

Isaiah 41:6 "...each helps the other and says to his brother, 'Be strong!"

"God gave me a vision to help the downcast who were coming from a place that I clearly understood; and a heart to help the elderly with minor home maintenance," said Perry. "After numerous conversations with my fiancé Lisa, she agreed that I should act according to this compassion."

T.R.Y. TIMELINE


1999:
Perry Clark founded T.R.Y. Ministries by reaching out to youth in the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center; ministering to their spiritual and emotional needs.

T.R.Y. began its yearly participation and local leadership of the national Angel Tree Ministry to support reconnection with children and their parents who will reenter the community.

A partnership with Unity Holiness Ministry COGIC provided meeting space and support to our outreaches.

Perry trained, employed and encouraged men reentering the community through his private home remodeling business.

2000:
T.R.Y. began serving the elderly and single moms (modern day widows and orphans) through a partnership with the local affiliate of the national Love INC organization. Perry and another gentleman cleaned out basements and garages, picked up donated furniture and provided the truck and manpower to move single moms and their children. Love INC also began to connect T.R.Y. with men reentering the community from the inside. T.R.Y. often revealed God's love to these men by providing for their basic needs of furniture, toiletries, and words of encouragement.

Working in collaboration with He Brought Us Out Ministry and Love INC, T.R.Y. began providing summer and Christmas programs to the Spring Hill community.

2001:
Multiple churches and neighbors began referring men, just home from the inside, to T.R.Y.

2003:
In support of Books for Africa Library Project, Inc., a Copley, OH based mission, T.R.Y. donated books and provided the manpower to load a 40' trailer with books and medical equipment headed for Africa each year until 2007.

Began serving on the National Day of Prayer committee for jails/prisons and leading the prayer with the men at the Oriana House locations.

Perry encountered a man 2 days removed from being on the inside and still wearing his state-issued clothing. Perry began to share what God would do for him if he surrendered. The man replied, "I need help now…a home, food and a job." Perry responded, "I have been where you are now and what each of us needs is God to walk alongside us." Realizing that his words were not enough, Perry believed it was his calling to bring caring and concerned Christians together to give a man a hand-up, not a hand-out.

2004:
T.R.Y. began its partnership with Shiloh Baptist Church to help support its efforts to care for those in need by donating, preparing and delivering Thanksgiving meals.

Began partnership with Akron Bible Church and provided manpower to unload trucks and assist in preparing and distributing more than 3,000 Christmas Love Baskets each year.

Perry and his wife Lisa donated an investment property to be used as the first transitional house.

2006:
Perry completed the remodeling of the investment property (that he donated in 2004) and opened the first transitional house to provide a home for men reentering the community. The support system provides encouragement and holds them accountable to healthy living.

T.R.Y. continued its relationship with He Brought Us Out Ministry by restoring and rehabbing its administrative office. This also was T.R.Y.'s first endeavor in providing employment skills training for men preparing to reenter the community. This began a collaboration with the Oriana House as these men were performing its community service requirements.

T.R.Y. began a partnership with CORE (Community Outreach Resources Exchange) by leading and working alongside more than 300 men performing at least 7,000 hours of community service each year (primarily from Oriana House). CORE seeks to provide furniture and homegoods for the needs of those in poverty in the greater Akron area.

Donated winter coats, clothing, blankets and personal care products to men in the Oriana House.

2007:
Truly Reaching You, Inc. obtained its 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

Began coordinating and leading a neighborhood event as one of the National Night Out Against Crime sites. This neighborhood celebration is possible due to their partnership with the Mayor's office, the Akron Police Dept, local area churches, the South Akron Block Club, Summa Health System and other generous organizations that provide food and entertainment.

During the celebrations each year, they collaborate with Angel Tree to provide backpacks with school supplies to children of incarcerated parents.

2008:
T.R.Y. entered into partnership with Marketplace for Justice and Mercy, an adopted branch of the Akron Area YMCA, and its Founder and Executive Director, Steve Wewer. Marketplace for Justice and Mercy's vision and operations focused on employing and training adults caught in generational poverty and unhealthy lifestyles.

T.R.Y. completed the remodeling of the second transitional home and began housing an additional 3 men.

T.R.Y. completed the remodeling of the third transitional home with 2 beds.

Perry closed his private remodeling business to focus on the growth and needs of T.R.Y.

2009:
T.R.Y. received its first grant from the GAR Foundation.

Marketplace for Justice and Mercy merged into T.R.Y. and we hired our first employees, furthering our collaboration with the Akron Area YMCA. This was the first time that Perry had drawn a salary from his non-profit ministry.

T.R.Y. was donated headquarters space with 3 offices through its partnership with Church of the Holy Spirit.

T.R.Y. expanded its Employment Skills Training Program by providing apprenticeships for 46 men in house rehabbing, commercial lawn care, commercial cleaning, auto mechanics, basic machining skills and inventory/logistics management.

2010:
Alcon donated the office building to T.R.Y. for $1/yr, including utilities.

2011:
T.R.Y. entered into a partnership with the Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives; A Crew Cab Box Truck was donated to T.R.Y. by NE Ohio Golf Charities.

2012:
T.R.Y. opened the Women's Program and Employment Skills Training; A duplex was donated to T.R.Y.; T.R.Y. opened a community garden on T.R.Y. and Alcon's land.

2013:
T.R.Y. opened the first Women's Transitional House.