Everyone deserves a Plan B.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
After many years working in the construction industry George knew that finding good labor was always a problem. Carrie has done some studies on our country’s prison system and it had an a strong impact on her. Knowing that there are plenty of people out there that are willing to work hard if they were just given a chance, and knowing that the labor industry was in need of good employees, we decided to start ENA Services. However, after we started our endeavor we realized that the most important part of our company was providing trained employees to our customers and also employees that were safety minded. Out of that idea, we started the Plan B Foundation. The Plan B Foundation, similar to ENA, offers clients a variety of lower level labor and maintenance type jobs.
Parking Lot Maintenance
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The Plan B Foundation was to help ex-offenders bridge the gap between obtaining full time employment and keeping that job long term. When you don’t have full time employment modeled to you your whole life, it becomes difficult to understand what you need to do everyday to keep your job. The Plan B Foundation helps to teach and support each participant as they navigate through learning how to work all the time.
Here are just a few of the obstacles that our participants face:
Child Care – We have a separate fund just for childcare. When you start work with the foundation we pay for child care for the first two weeks, after you start getting regular paychecks we will still help you pay for it but you have to start to learn to budget it in. Over time, the more money you make, the less that we help with the bill until you are able to afford it on your own. Learning how to work and deal with your kids, especially for single parents, is something everyone struggles with and is one of our most important needs.
Housing – Many of our participants live in areas that are riddled with violence and are not safe for them or their family. Every participant I have that lives in Chicago needs to be moved because it is just not safe for them to stay in an area where they got in so much trouble and try to change their life. We have a fund that helps with things such as security deposit for new apartments, and rental assistance if needed and if they qualify by working their 40 hour weeks.
Transportation – Transportation is tricky because if you are living in the city or the suburbs and don’t have a car, getting to work isn’t easy. If you do have a car, I will help with gas for the first month till you get used to working full time. If you don’t have a car, I will help you get to me in the form of trains, busses or rides to and from the train station. If you want to work, it isn’t easy you have to do some of the hard work to show that you really want it.
Moral Support – Sometimes it is just really tempting to go back to the life you used to live and take your chances and maybe this time you won’t end up in prison. I always tell my participants that living a good life is hard, really hard and there are always problems, they are just constantly changing. The easiest they had it when it comes to life and choices was in prison, those decisions are made for you, nobody is turning off your lights in prison. Living a good life is a challenge every day. There is often misconception between the low-class and middle-class people. The low-class people think that middle class have money and their life is so much better when most of us are living paycheck to paycheck and at any time something can set us back, it feels like we can never catch up. Middle-class people think that low-class people are lazy, and they just won’t work, but in reality they don’t know how to work and manage life, and they are given free stuff as low income so it is hard to give that up to struggle even harder in the middle class.