“Getting a paycheck is great & staying busy makes sure that I don’t get caught up in the things I used to do. I love being a foreman and leading a 12-man crew.”
Before Raheem was released from prison, he knew that he would need to make a certain amount of money in order to survive and to take care of his family. Once he was released, he was faced with the harsh reality that not only was it hard to find a job, but even more importantly, it felt impossible to find a job that paid enough to care for his family.
Raheem received many job offers, even for entry-level positions making minimum wage, but as soon as the background check would come back, he knew he was in for another disappointment. It felt to him that the synergy was great during the interview, but as soon as the background check would come back, the potential employer forgot about their conversation and immediately began to judge him for the poor choices of his past.
Eventually, Raheem was offered an entry-level, minimum wage position working for an asbestos abatement company. He remained optimistic that his work ethic would speak for itself and eventually he would receive a raise in pay and promotion, which thus would allow him to be the provider he dreamed of being. And this in fact came true!
Raheem is thriving in his workplace and feeds off the energy of his employer. He is now a leader at the company. He feels like the soft skill lessons he learned in prison—including reading body language and dealing with different personalities - has uniquely positioned him for success and to lead others. To Raheem, employment is critical because it provides the opportunity to live, not just survive.