Thursday, April 28, 2011

Could You Please Hire a Felon or Loan us Some Serious Dough

There is a huge ministry opportunity out there that is not an easy one and involves some risk but the need is so great! We have several kids and a significant other who have things on their record that are keeping them from being hired. And to tell you the truth, I think they would be fine workers. But nobody will hire them!

For example, a kid who right after he turns 18 decides that he'll do his buddies a favor and give them a ride as they rob some private homes. He never touches anything... never steals anything himself -- but ends up with a couple felonies for transporting stolen property, etc... Because of that he can't find a job. He can't find a place that will rent to him. How is this helping him?

You might say, "Well there are programs for people like that that he should have taken advantage of while he was in jail." But you know what? State prisons have programs. Very few county jails have them and if they do you don't qualify for them unless you are in jail for more than 60 or 90 days. So.... the crimes that these kids are committing aren't serious enough to get them in jail long enough to qualify them for these programs, but they are serious enough to disqualify them for any jobs they might apply for.

Please explain to me how this is restorative justice?

Bart and I have a dream of starting a business that would not only employ our kids but also be willing to employ people who had things on their record that automatically disqualify them from employment at established businesses that have corporate rules. We have several ideas but no start up capital.

This is a huge social issue. I've come up with a couple ways that people can help with making a difference -- hiring people with records or giving people start up capital to begin programs that will.

And yes, I realize that this is way out of the box and scary risky living. But doesn't everyone deserve a second chance?

4 comments:

Paula said...

I have kids in the exact same situation. St. Cloud had two job fairs for felons recently. My kids didn't get hired there, but they did go. Restorative justice doesn't exist. Our system is set up to perpetuate more criminal activity. Felons who can't get jobs often fall back into criminal activities just so they can make some money. It's ridiculous. I, too, have dreamed of starting a business that hires felons. Have you seen the show Conviction Kitchen? Two very successful restaurants have been started using all felons as employees. I know others could do the same. Here are a few links for you to check out:
http://coroministries.org/Site/Welcome.html
http://www.faithbasedmentoring.org/why-bother.aspx
http://www.restart.typepad.com/r6/

HollyMag said...

Hey Claudia,
I don't know if you've heard of Father Greg and Home Boy Industries, but he's been very successful in getting kids off the streets and into jobs.
http://www.homeboy-industries.org/

JrWhale said...

I agree totally about the system. I did want to point out that certain industries seem more willing to accept felons than other ones. For instance, my husband works in the restaurant industry and it seems to have no problems with criminal records. As long as you're willing to show up, keep your head down and wash dishes for close to minimum wage, you can (often, sometimes, usually) get a job in a restaurant.

Treasured Grace said...

WOW! What a dream...I pray you can make it a reality! Or that someone out there can help you make it a reality!
Keep talking about it and sharing your vision, someone's gotta have some capital somewhere?!
Blessings on your day:)