MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Three Memphis nonprofits received a generous donation from AT&T on Monday to help them with their offender re-entry programs.
AT&T's Believe Tennessee initiative donated $10,000 each to Lifeline to Success, JIFF (Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow-Up and Hope Works.
“We’re in an inflection point,” said Chuck Thomas, the regional director of external affairs of AT&T. “It is one where we’re trying to ensure that our neighbors and our friends are welcome back into society.”
Local and state leaders were on hand for the announcement at Memphis City Hall.
"Employers in Memphis are more open to hiring people with criminal records than they have ever been in their history because there's a shortage of skilled employment," said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
They all agree it takes a community to improve things.
"One of my passions in the General Assembly is re-entry and really making the process smoother, making sure that those who made a mistake on their worst day will not have to live the rest of their life haunted by that decision," said State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.
DeAndre Brown, who formed Lifeline to Success after he struggled to transition back into society, said the donation to his organization will make a big difference.
“I’m extremely excited. When we do this work, the revenue streams are sometimes limited, so to have any additional funding is always helpful,” said Brown.
AT&T launched its Believe Tennessee Initiative last fall with a $150,000 pledge to help college students.