I met Moses in the line of a soup kitchen that I was helping out with. Moses just got out of prison and is desperately trying to make a better life for himself this time around. In San Francisco, there is no hope to escape homelessness without a job (a social security check doesn’t cover the cost of even most low-income rooms here). Luckily, Moses worked in an auto body shop before he was incarcerated. However, Moses has two things going against him.
Most employers consider hiring an ex-con to be taking a big risk, and many aren’t willing to take that risk. Also, Moses is applicable for a grant that will allow him to buy $1,000 worth of auto body and paint tools. However, in order to receive it, he must have proof of employment. So with Moses, it is a circular problem. He must have tools in order to get a job, but he must first have a job, to be applicable for the grant that will give him tools.
Moses is not unlike many ex-cons who sincerely desire to make a new life for themselves. But without a job, these men and women are forced to either live on the streets and eat in soup kitchens…or turn to more lucrative illegal lines of business. Pray for Moses, that he would find a job and be able to make a new life for himself here in San Francisco.
-Ben, CSM San Francisco 2007 Spring City Host