Mr. Bailey shows that it is possible to overcome adversity to secure employment, especially through hard work and with the right kind of support.
Born in Ghana, Mr. Bailey immigrated to the United States as a child. He grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where he got caught up in crime as a teenager. At 17, he was incarcerated for 9.5 years for robbery. He also lost his leg to a gunshot wound.
After his release from prison, Mr. Bailey was determined to turn his life around. He got a job at a condo company and enrolled in classes to attain his associate degree in information systems. Juggling work and school became a challenge, so he left his position to focus on completing his degree.
Upon graduation, he found that employers overlooked or rejected him due his disability and history of incarceration. Unable to secure a job, he became homeless. When he arrived at Project Renewal’s Third Street shelter, “the first thing I said was I wanted to get back into the workforce,” Mr. Bailey recalls. His case manager connected him with our Next Step employment program.
Through Next Step, Mr. Bailey attended workshops, received help with his cover letter and resume, practiced interviewing, and brushed up on his typing skills. Next Step identified employers that would accommodate his disability and look past his history of incarceration.
With support from Next Step staff, Mr. Bailey secured a position at the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Call Center, where he has worked for the past two months. “It feels wonderful to be able to get up and go to work, and to interact with like-minded individuals and professionals,” he shares. “I see opportunities for growth, and I feel hopeful about my future.”