WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Everyone deserves a second chance. That’s the message and the focus of a job fair later this week in Belle Glade. All companies willing to hire people with a criminal past. It's one in a series of events during National Second Chance Month.
Tamarsha Shelton says her life changed after being accepted into the only re-entry house for single women in Palm Beach County — Halle Place, after her prison release in 2019. She is now a manager at a restaurant.
“Knowing that I am a convicted felon, I just didn’t see any future for myself,” she said. “But while being at The Lord's Place and the job training that they did provide and the advice, it helped a lot.”
The facility is just one of the many programs of The Lord’s Place, helping rebuild lives especially those who are convicted felons.
“Over 80% avoid re-arrest,” said Cristina Lucier.
Lucier is the vice president of community programs at The Lord’s Place.
“In our re-entry programs overall, so community based or people staying at our campuses, more than 70% avoid re-arrest within the first year at least,” she said.
“If you can’t find legal work and if you can’t find housing, then it’s more likely people are going to commit crimes and go back into the criminal justice system,” said Alex Saiz.
Saiz is the director of legal services for the Florida Justice Center.
The center is among more than 20 community partners putting on a second chance event in Belle Glade on Saturday.
The event comes on the heels of the Biden administration announced more federal funding for second chance opportunities in effort to bolster re-entry, empower formerly incarcerated persons, and strengthen the communities and economy.
Community service providers and employers will be on hand to help people with arrest records.
For more information or to pre-register for assistance, visit FLJC.org/Glade.
Para obtener información en español, visite FLJC.org/espanol.