NAACP and businesses helping felons get a second chance

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Henry Meyer is defying the odds.

“This could have all been a dream that was dreamed in some federal prison by me 12 years ago and it never came true. Well, it is true. It’s happening right now. We’re hiring felons every day. You’re a felon, come get a job,” said Meyer

“To see all that come to fruition with people who a lot of people looked at as the replacements, the people that nobody wanted. We’re killing it over here. We’re crushing it. We’re dropping 3,000 chicken wings over here.”

But offering a second chance to people isn’t something everyone is willing to do.

“A lot of employers aren’t necessarily willing to have a sit down with each employee and say ‘hey what day do you need off for your kids. And what day do you need off for your probation?'”

That’s why the Lansing chapter of the NAACP is stepping up offering $50 thousand to help cover legal fees for people wanting a clean slate.

“With these things off of their record they have an opportunity to get a better job,” said Dale Copedge, President of the Lansing NAACP.

“Individuals have these things stacked on their record over time now we are able to get the money to get them to get that off of their record so they can start a whole new life.”

Meyer says he’s one of the countless people who made a mistake and continued to pay for it years later.

“I absolutely tried to get a job when I got out and nobody would hire me,” said Meyer.

Meyer says there’s a misconception out there that he says people are wrong to assume.

“Until you’re in that situation. You think it’s so easy. You think those felons are stupid. They’re not. They’re dealing with some real tough things.”

Out of his 26 employees, at least 18 have been to prison. A fact Meyer says makes his business stronger.

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