Louisville clergymen announce plan to employ ex-felons, reduce violence

Published: Sep. 10, 2014 at 4:28 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2014 at 5:35 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new effort is underway to employ ex-felons in Louisville. Bearing the belief there is a direct link between crime, violence and unemployment, Minister Jerald Muhammad and Bishop Dennis Lyons announced Wednesday they would be helping place 150 ex-felons with jobs.

"If a man doesn't have a job, if he doesn't have income and he can't provide for his family, he's more likely to get involved in a life of crime," said Muhammad representing the organization Brothers Helping Brothers. "We're reaching out to corporations. There are many businesses and corporations in the city of Louisville and southern Indiana that will hire felons."

In an attempt to help curb further violence in west Louisville neighborhoods, the clergymen detailed their hiring plans outside Gospel Missionary Church.

"We are under no illusion that we can save the whole city but we do believe we can help those who are willing to be helped," said Minister Muhammad. "{Thursday, Sept. 11} at 6:30 p.m. at Gospel Missionary Church we're going to sign up 150 men that have felonies on their record to help them get a job."

According to Minister Muhammad, the jobs will be geared with feature marketable skills including becoming an electrician, brick mason, plumber and carpet layer among others. While some of the job opportunities are already set up, others are still in need of willing corporate partners.

"We're calling on all churches and all other civic organizations to join with us in this effort," said Bishop Lyons.

Both men encouraged those in the area to take advantage of the local push to put ex-felons back to work in hopes of preventing future crime and consequent casualties.

According to the clergymen, the first 150 men that show up to Gospel Missionary Church at 6:30 p.m. on September 11 will be registered for partnering jobs. Gospel Missionary Church is located at 3226 Vermont Avenue in the Shawnee neighborhood.

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