Few things are sadder than witnessing a person lose hope.
Hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today. It’s the chance to rebuild, to create a future that is not defined by the past. For the 650,000 people released from prison each year (more than 12,000 each week), hope is short-lived without opportunity.
Former inmates face a 27% unemployment rate, higher than the total unemployment rate at any point in U.S. history, including the Great Depression. In the first year after release, only 55% of ex-prisoners report earnings, according to the Brookings Institution.
These are not just statistics. These are single mothers, teenagers, veterans, and recovering addicts. They have made mistakes and are working toward redemption. They want to become productive members of society, but nobody will give them a chance.
Megan Rose is the CEO of Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping children out of foster care by strengthening families through work and relational support. She’s also a 2020-21 Civil Society Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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