From Jailhouse Scrubs To Job Interview Clothes

Men Graduate From South County Jail's 1st JfL Class

Michael Reading was formerly incarcerated in the South County Jail, located in Polk County, FL, and graduated from the jail's first-ever Jobs for Life (JfL) class in May earlier this year. He shares about the impact the JfL class has had in his life: "I learned that I really am a good man, and to stop beating myself up, and don’t worry about the roadblocks. I can overcome them.” Michael is a trained plumber, and after being released from jail he started attending church with this Champion, where he met another plumber who hired him as an employee!

The South County Jail has hosted two JfL classes so far, and have graduated 26 men to date—many of whom have already obtained employment, just like Michael. The classes are facilitated by Heart for Winter Haven, which has been a JfL site and ministry partner since 2016. The staff at Heart for Winter Haven also provide "after care" support for the men upon their release from the jail and graduation from JfL, helping them continue their job and career journey. Bee Gallison, the new JfL Site Leader at Heart for Winter Haven, attended a JfL training in 2019, which equipped her with the tools and strategies for facilitating JfL classes and helping prepare people for work.

>> Watch Michael's story


67% of formerly incarcerated individuals return to prison within 3 years of their release. Work can help break the cycle of recidivism. By empowering men like Michael, Jobs for Life uplifts dignity through work, one community at a time. 

With your support, we can empower communities and ministry partners, just like Heart for Winter Haven and South County Jail, to break this cycle of recidivism, joblessness, and poverty. We ask you to donate to our end of the year giving campaign to help support this work in 2020 and beyond.

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