Friday, September 11, 2009

The Difficult Road Back for Ex-Offenders

The Las Vegas Weekly provides a fantastic and colorful story, “Now What?” on the difficulties ex-offenders face reentering society… a task made tougher by the recent economic downturn.

This is a story I have become familiar with over the last 10 years at Bud’s Warehouse and Belay Enterprises. It’s the very reason we promote the start of faith venture businesses to create opportunities for individuals rebuilding lives from felony convictions.

I appreciate ex-offender Phil Lacasse’s raw honesty about his struggles:

“It’s rough out here. It’s rough. It can be done. Anything can be accomplished. But a lot of people, what happens is, when they’re in my shoes, they come out and they get real discouraged. And they get real disappointed. And everything is happening at 100 miles per hour, and you can’t find work. And what happens is after a while they decide, Well, I’ll pick up a gun, I’ll sell some dope. I’ll pimp some broads. I gotta make a living somehow. And that’s the biggest thing that brings us back, is we try and we try and we try and we get out with good intentions, but when there’s nobody to help us, eventually you’re going to go back to becoming what you were. Change comes with help.”

Phil Lacasse, “Now What?” Las Vegas Weekly, September 10, 2009.

Phil’s words are a call to action. For ex-offenders seeking to rebuild lives, real change requires help from the community. And it’s my hope that more business leaders will catch a vision for starting faith ventures that create real opportunity for ex-offenders seeking change.

(Thanks to @DWFreedom for pointing out this article!)

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