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John's Story: Finding Work Despite His Criminal Record

“John”, like many citizens with a criminal record, had always struggled to find work. Desperate to make money, he took a temporary position that was scheduled to last only three weeks. To his surprise and delight, it lasted two months. John was praised for his good work ethic and excited when he was informed that he was being considered for permanent full-time position. A background check was run as part of his consideration, and he was subsequently dismissed.

Still motivated and determined to gain employment, John submitted numerous job applications, but was never offered a job. Although John had a diploma and some work skills, his prior convictions posed a major barrier to regaining employment.

John went to his local Department of Public Safety to seek employment aid and was referred to I-CARE, Inc.. John participated in several work readiness activities to improve his soft skills, which helped him gain confidence in himself and his skills. I-CARE helped John find and afford work clothes, and gave him a job referral to Western Carolina Safety. John interviewed and was offered a position!

“It’s discouraging to know that my past will never be my past. I needed an opportunity to demonstrate change and show my worth and loyalty. I’m thankful for I-CARE, they gave me a chance, and opened a door to employment.” -John

Great work, I-CARE; and congratulations on your new job, John! We are grateful for all you do and all the people you help!

Want to Help People Like John? There are many ways you can help returning citizens in North Carolina:

  • Buy Our For Cause Coffee | NEW Grounds Coffee is our custom coffee blend. Every fresh cup supports a fresh start for a returning citizen. All profits go towards our NEW Reentry Program, which helps returning citizens find work and reintegrate successfully back into society.

  • Donate | We use your money to help run our programs, and provide training that helps organizations and individuals make their way to self-sufficiency. You can donate on our web page or find an agencies local to you.

  • Volunteer | We can’t do this alone. Join us! Find one of our agencies in your county and check out their website for volunteer opportunities.

  • Become a Member | Did you know you can become a Community Action Member? Membership provides discounted tickets to our various events, an inside look into our organization and more. Membership fees start at only $25 a year for an individual, or $300 for an agency.

  • Partner with Us | We are humbled by the many non-profit and for-profit organizations that partner with us to bring services, educations and events to North Carolina. If your organization is looking for a non-profit to partner with, please consider us. Email us at We would love to hear from you!

Want to submit your success story? Email with the subject line: Success Story by _____ (your name).

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