Recidivism in Recovery, Things can Change If We Have More Employers Like This
People make mistakes and people can and do change. Yes, that is if they are given the right tools and opportunities, they are able to do so.
I've been covering various aspects involved with why recidivism in recovery may take place. I've talked about self-care, trauma and healing, forgiveness of one's self and others, getting to the root of your issues instead of just looking at the symptoms of, the problem with enabling versus true advocacy and empowerment of a person from victim to victor, but there is also another dynamic involved.
Once a person gets a record and or have served time, it is harder than many people might believe for a person to get back on their feet. Nobody wants to hire them. If some are even lucky to get a job, it's at very minimal hours or very low wages. We've already seen how hard it has been for students graduating from degrees to find employment, let alone someone with a record. Having worked in the field for 18 years, it is heart breaking to see people get clean, work hard to try and turn their lives around, and yet continue to get rejected for employment and housing because of their past mistakes. It makes it hard for professionals to wonder if we can really truly offer them any hope at times. No wonder people become discouraged, depressed, and then end up back in their addictions and other means of survival.
Many individuals start out in neighborhoods that are not afforded the same tax bracket and its benefits as you find in the majority of white neighborhoods. What does this mean? That with inequity of funds, there is inequity in a level playing field for opportunities in education. The cycle continues to repeat itself as each new person is born into this same system.
Just as a reminder, addictions does not discriminate. There are people with formal education, positions, wealth, etc. that have also been in the grips of addiction. Many times mental health issues accompany this. People are sick, they are hurting and nobody sets out to make it their goal to become alcoholic or other drug addicted. Shame, stigma, and categorizing addictions as a criminal issue rather than a health issue compounds this problem even more.
“We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people”.
Below in the video clip is a story about a company that has dedicated their business and efforts to giving people opportunities that have not otherwise been able to find employment due to their past histories and mistakes. We need more businesses like this to be part of the mission of second chances and redemption. I have witnessed first-hand where this has been one of the major barriers for people trying to turn their lives around and get back on their feet, to prevent them from sustaining recovery.
I was moved by the stories, I was proud of this company, and I hope that more will step up to do the same. The company has a sign that says, “We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people”. The founder of the company deliberately put his company in an area that had a lot of homelessness, drugs, poverty, where there was a lack of opportunities and a lack of hope. He believed in giving people a chance rather than throwing them away. Please check out the video below.