Ex-felons moving back to their communities in Tennessee will face a number of problems, not the least of which is finding somewhere to live. A conviction is a huge hurdle to overcome, especially since many people are unwilling to give former prisoners a chance. Finding jobs for felons in Tennessee is as difficult as it is in any other state, but there are doors open to them if they know where to look.
Ex-felons can benefit from government programs and privately run charities in their bid to start a new life. After leaving prison, it is a good idea to join a good support group. Ex-felons run many of these support groups, so you can get useful advice on tracking down jobs and finding housing. This is also a good way to deal with your feelings and personal problems.
Housing for Felons in Tennessee
The Tennessee offender re-entry website (http://www.tnoffenderreentry.com/) has lots of resources that will help an ex-felon start a new life. It offers different housing options for ex-offenders, namely crisis housing, permanent housing, and transitional housing. Each link contains information on organizations that can be contacted for help. A few examples are:
- A Hand up Not a Hand Out (http://www.ahandupnotout.webs.com/)
- Steps House Inc. (http://www.stepshouse.net/)
- Safe Haven Family Shelter (http://safehaven.org/)
- Be a Helping Hand (http://www.bahelpinghand.org/)
- Kingdom House Recovery Ministry (http://www.fairfieldmissionarybaptistchurch.org/)
- Evolutions Recovery House (http://evolutionsrecoveryhouse.vpweb.com/?prefix=www)
- HELP House (http://jesusinprison.publishpath.com/)
- Mending Hearts Inc. (http://mendingheartsinc.org/) : This facility if for women only
- Urban Housing Solutions (http://www.urbanhousingsolutions.org/)
All the necessary contact information is provided on the website for each organization. Each link also offers background information on the organizations.
Felons can also contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/tennessee) (HUD) to find out what options they have for finding housing. Many ex-felons are eligible for section 8 vouchers, contact the local office to verify what you qualify for and how to apply.
If they were convicted of methamphetamine production or sex crimes they will not be able to access public housing assistance.
Jobs for Felons in Tennessee
The Tennessee offender re-entry website is also a good place to check when looking for a job. It lists many organizations that help ex-felons to find employment. You can find felon-friendly jobs in Nashville TN with the information provided. Some of the organizations named that will help people looking for work are:
- Focus Christian Academy (http://www.focusprisonministries.com/518449): As the name implies this is a faith-based organization. It offers an environment where ex-felons can become students and get transitional housing.
- Mayor’s Second Chance (http://www.cityofjackson.net/): This program enables felons to get the chance to once again contribute to society. Users of the program have access to counseling and skills training aimed at helping them to become productive employees.
- Project Return Inc.( http://www.projectreturninc.org/): This organization provides support for ex-felons and their families. Its focus is on a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation. It helps felons become employable and decreases the likelihood of them going back to a life of crime.
- TRICOR (http://www.tricor.org/): This self-funded program provides training to offenders to help develop their skill base. The training received helps ex-offenders to find jobs when they return to society after serving time.
The website, We Hire Felons (http://wehirefelons.org/) is another great job resource. It offers a number of useful links such as tips on resume and application writing, a newsletter, and information on other felon programs in Tennessee. It lists the job openings available as well as information on the companies that need workers.
Other Resources for Ex-felons
Other organizations in Tennessee are dedicated to making the transition for ex-felons a little easier. One of these is Rosa’s Children (http://www.holston.org/events/ministries/rosas-children/) which provides vital support to ex-offenders by helping them reconnect with their families. Former inmates often need to work hard to rebuild the trust of their loved ones, and this is what Rosa’s Children try to do.
A Hand Up Not a Hand Out (http://www.ahandupnotout.webs.com/) offers help not only with housing, but also any other kind of assistance a former inmate would need. It is a community-based organization in Memphis TN that helps with personal improvement, particularly in the areas of skills and knowledge. The aim is to help participants enter the workforce and be productive so they can make a contribution to society. It also helps ex-felons with job placement and transportation.
Ex-inmates will have many questions about getting their lives back on track, but there are answers if they take the time to search. Support groups or contacting other ex-felons can generate good job leads. Felons can also get help from prison counselors and religious organizations.