“When I was released, I had a really hard time finding a job. I’d fill out job applications and was told they’d call me, but they never did. But one place gave me a second chance. I was treated me as a member of the family and not as an ex-offender. This made all the difference.”
You can help many others like Mike to have a second chance post-prison to flourish and to make our world a little bit better.
Approximately 77 million Americans, or 1 in 3 adults, have a criminal record. With 87 percent of employers conducting background checks, a criminal record can be a major barrier to employment.
Although many employers express a willingness to hire people with criminal records, evidence shows that having a record reduces employer callback rates by 50%.
Formerly incarcerated people want to work. Their high unemployment rate reflects public will, policy, and practice — not differences in aspirations.
They simply need to be given training and a second chance.
That’s where you come in.
The Walls to Wages Foundation believes that three pieces are necessary to complete the puzzle that is post-prison flourishing: the heroes who seek a second chance, the heroes providing opportunities, and the heroes who undergird the entire process.
We believe in those who are rejoining society and seeking to make it better.
We believe in business owners who want to offer what they have to those rejoining society.
We believe in the support structure – YOU – that gives those rejoining society a second chance.
“I had to realize that I had hit bottom, so that I could get up, start over, and decide that I was going to do things the right way.
When I got out of prison, I had no job, no prospects for a job, but a lot of bills. I had to find work, but no one wanted to hire me because I had a record. I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. That’s when I found a company that was just starting out—and they hired me! Today, my work is more than a paycheck. It has given me a purpose.
I love that I’m now in a position to offer hope to others.”
“After I was released from custody, I found it difficult to find a job. I had a good resume and had been instrumental in building successful entrepreneurial companies, but when the background check came up during the interview process, either the company would end things, or they wouldn’t call me back.
One person offered me a job and I’ve been learning the business from the ground up—starting in the roasting room where we extract the best possible flavor from the coffee beans.
I am learning that no one should be judged on his or her mistakes, but on their actions going forward. Our mistakes don’t define us. My mistakes don’t define me. It’s taking me time, but I’m getting there.”
“During my 8-1/2 year incarceration, I worked hard to complete my education and when I was released, I had two associate degrees, a computer tech certificate and I was just one semester away from receiving my bachelor’s degree. One company offered me a job as a coffee roaster, working part-time so I could finish my education. They took me in and treated me like family. They worked with me, didn’t look down on me, and I never felt slighted in any way.
The job gave me an income, but more importantly, it gave me opportunity. For myself, and to open doors for others. There are so many stories about people with a felony background who can’t get a job.”
You can help change the lives of people who never imagined they would get a second chance. Led by a Board with decades of experience in the non-profit sector and working in both the coffee industry and directly with previously incarcerated people, our partnership with you will decrease recidivism, empower people, and make the world better through hard work and a whole lot of coffee.