The Hairston Foundation has established a healthcare training collaborative to help train and employ ex-offenders to be caregivers for their family members and to get paid doing so. The program is called The New Phoenix Initiative. This novel approach to reducing employment opportunities for returning citizens focuses on providing care to Medicaid eligible seniors and people with disabilities who require assistance with activities of daily living. Through the Hairston Foundation’s program, eligible ex-offenders are provide training to support seniors so that they can continue to live independently in the community rather than having to move into a nursing home or similar institution.
By training and providing a pathway to economic security for the formerly incarcerated, while simultaneously working to increase the pool of trained caregivers providing support for Medicaid recipients who need it, this initiative is economically sound, contributes to family stability, and promotes the health and well-being of low income, vulnerable populations (particularly in African American and Latino communities).
In Philadelphia alone, where there are hundreds of thousands of individuals with criminal records, the New Phoenix Initiative could provide increased employment opportunities to thousands of residents.
There has been much discussion of the problems relating to ex-offender job opportunities (see the link here https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/job-discrimination-laws-criminal-record-20190325.html but the New Phoenix Initiative presents a novel approach as part of a solution.