Ex-convict: 'There's more than second chances, there's 100 chanc - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ex-convict: 'There's more than second chances, there's 100 chances'

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Many of the participants committed crimes, went to prison, and left with no direction or hope in finding employment. Many of the participants committed crimes, went to prison, and left with no direction or hope in finding employment.
After fighting addiction to drugs and alcohol Butler wound up in jail. When he got out, he had no idea where to go. After fighting addiction to drugs and alcohol Butler wound up in jail. When he got out, he had no idea where to go.

(WMC-TV) - Thirteen ex-convicts graduated from the Memphis Economic Opportunities program Friday; each one of them gained life skills and employment.

Many of the participants committed crimes, went to prison, and left with no direction or hope in finding employment.

"I just thank God for this chance," said Freddie Butler. "Being discriminated against because of our backgrounds ... It's not fair, but you can understand it."

After fighting addiction to drugs and alcohol Butler wound up in jail. When he got out, he had no idea where to go.

"That's the first time in my life I had to deal with somebody shutting the door in my face and when I experienced that I knew I needed some extra support," he said.

He and so many others celebrated a new success and a new beginning Friday.

"There's more than second chances, there's 100 chances, and I've had them. I've had so many chances of trying to change. And I'm still standing here today, faithful, gonna try and continue to work hard, and I'm not gonna let this program down," he said.

The program, Economic Opportunities, helped him gain job skills, life skills and a foundation of faith.

"It's very difficult when you are an ex-offender, and you have that blemish on your record, to get a job," said program director Raymond Clark. "And what we say is it's not just a job, it's a lifestyle change. So when you get that job you can be a good steward over that."

Clark says he plans to expand the program by adding more employers and reaching out to more felons.

Learn more about the program here: http://ecopmemphis.org/.

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