Ex-Offenders Get Second Chance Through Grocery Store Partnership

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia church is helping ex-offenders get a second chance through a partnership with a local grocery store chain, and those who graduate get a guaranteed foot in the door.

Sharey Precia wakes up at every morning at 6 o’clock and goes to this makeshift grocery store at Enon Tabernacle Church with a smile.

“It’s so amazing coming here, I learned so much,” she said.

This single mother of two is one of the 40 enrolled in the Uplift Work Solutions Program, a partnership with Brown’s ShopRite that opens doors for ex-offenders.

“It’s just so hard for me to find work to take care of me and my family, Precia” said.

Uplift provides four weeks of life skills and two weeks of cashier training.

Attendees get a weekly transpass and $125 stipend, as well as free lunch.

The best part.

“Guaranteed a job, guaranteed a job,” said Instructor Monique Oakman-Robinson.

She says all graduates get a cashier job at one of more than a half-dozen Brown’s ShopRite or Fresh Grocer stores in Philadelphia, a game changing opportunity.

“I’ve seen them transform right in front of my eyes, and it’s so wonderful,” she said.

Once a retail manager, Victor Salgado spent the past five years behind bars, and for him a cashier’s job is rare chance.

“You can better yourself and prison doesn’t make you, he said.

A lesson, this group is hoping pays off for years to come.

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