"Serving Up Hope"...Cooking for Change

Real Estate Agent with S & L Properties

Restaurant training helps put former inmates on a new path was the subtitle of an article published today in the Star News and can be found in it entirety on StarNewsOnline.com.  In a nutshell, Linda Quinonez started a non-profit group that takes the homeless, ex-offenders, etc. to learn a new trade in the restaurant business.  She pairs them with a successful restaurateur who teaches them the business with the end goal of owning or managing their own facility.  I thought about a situation involving a friend whose young twenty year old was caught with drugs and sentenced to six months.  The parents decided to not protect him; he went to jail.  Later, the parents said, if they would have known how impossible it was going to find a job with a convicted felon label stuck on the state website, they may have done something different.  According to the Dad, if you lie on the application, you are dishonest and you will be fired.  If you tell the truth, you never get a call, period.  How does being a convicted felon connect to real estate??

Not sure how it is in your state?  If the felon paid his price to society, at what point is his record expunged? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?  I personally know someone who was convicted embezzling money over 30 years ago.  Job after Job denied; started his own business and became a multi-millionaire.  He donates tons of money, and he is a good person.  He has tried everything even to pay restitution to no avail.  He is one of the lucky ones.  What if you don't have the ability to build a business?  How do you convince someone to give you a chance.

Once I saw an article about how many convicted felons there are and it was huge.  How do those people ever find a job that will allow them to do anything except barely exists?  What about their dreams of owning their own homes?  Does this record affect your credit?  What about this person as a neighbor?  People do check for convicted felons in their neighborhood.  Also, keep in mind, you can be 17 and stupid.  Is it fair that something you did when you were young can haunt you the rest of your life?  If you take out the convicted felons, homeless, sex offenders, and illegal immigrants, and working poor out of the housing market, how many are left who can afford a home.

I am not advocating everyone be given a second chance but I do feel there should be a time limit for non-violent crimes so my hat is off to LINC...Leading Into New Communities.

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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

It is very difficullt for many in this situation to find jobs.  It would be good if there were more training programs so these folks could learn skills that would make them productive... and then some sort of tax incentive for employers who give them a chance and hire them.

Apr 20, 2010 03:18 PM #1
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

thank you for sharing this. You are right - it is good that someone is helping out so that released felons can get back on their feet.

Apr 20, 2010 03:18 PM #2
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