While America is often deemed the “Land of Opportunity” it does have its limitations – especially for ex-offenders who have been re-released into society. The main limitations come in form of housing and employment. Think about it – do you think a landlord or an employer, would be quick to lease an apartment to or hire an ex-offender? As progressive as we as a nation think we are, many would likely not lease to or hire an ex-offender. Often times, ex-offenders are wrongly treated as 2nd class citizens. This includes only being able to rent a place in a “not-so-good” area of town as well as not being able to obtain a job you are qualified for. Why? Well, because landlords and employers do background checks and unfortunately, if you have a record, you are generally perceived as second tier candidate. This is a very unfortunate situation for both sides of the equation. If an ex-offender is fully qualified to lease or be employed at a company and some corporate policy or landlord contract doesn’t allow ex-offenders, both sides lose!
Luckily there are programs for ex-offenders to successfully reinstate themselves into society. Let’s look at some of them in Texas.
Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.)
Per the T.O.R.I. website, their vision is to provide the reentry population with holistic wraparound services, which builds upon resources that are tailored specifically for formerly incarcerated individuals. Some services include prepping for job interviews, resume writing and coaching and job application help. These services prove extremely valuable to those looking to get employment with a record.
Austin M.O.V.E (Motivating Offenders to Value Employment) Forward – Employment Services
This program provides one on one volunteer assistance in finding work, job readiness skills, and referrals to community resources and training programs. Main referral is to Travis County Offender Workforce Development (OWD) program. Participants in program must either volunteer time or assist with fundraising efforts. Austin M.O.V.E Forward works in collaboration with Travis County Offender Workforce Development Program, Bastrop Federal Corrections Institution, City of Austin, and the Austin M.O.V.E. Forward Steering Committee.
Goodwill Careers Academy
Goodwill Careers Academy provides case management, pre-employment assistance, training opportunities, client and employer follow-up and additional supportive services as needed. Programs are available for specific populations including veterans, homeless, ex-offenders and those who lack education.
Project RIO is administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. The project provides a link between education, training and employment during incarceration with employment, training and education after release. Services are offered to program participants pre-and post-release. See more here: http://www.hirenetwork.org/content/texas
Ex-Offenders.net offers a job search page that is 100% free to use! This website helps ex-offenders locate employment. Check them out: www.ex-offenders.net.
There may be more websites for ex-offenders to use to find housing or a job. We will continually post information that may help benefit ex-offenders as they re-acclimate to society.
If you want to see if your record may be eligible for expungement or sealing, please fill out our