Finding a job with a felony on your record is difficult. Pair that with the competitive and slowing job market and it’s almost impossible. Despite that, there are some companies that hire ex- felons to secure their future.
The keyword being almost.
Fortunately, there are jobs and legal resources for people looking to better themselves and get back into the community. If you’re a convicted felon, there are still many types of grants you can apply. There are grants designed to help felons pursue business ideas or return to school.
A grant is a non-repayable fund given by a single party, such as the government, a corporation, or a foundation. There are certain parameters the applicant must meet and there’s no guarantee you’ll receive the award.
But don’t feel discouraged! There are many types of grants out there and there’s no limit on how many you apply to.
Here are 5 types of grants you can get, even with a felony on your record.
Felons Assistance Types of Grants
Finding a home and a job can be very difficult for ex-convicts, felons, and former inmates. However, felons can get grants to make reintegrating back into society easier.
Help for Felons offers a list of grants for housing as well as job finding, education, and other useful resources.
On this website, you can find lists of possible employers and housing in your area that don’t discriminate ex-convicts and felons.
This organization supports and helps direct felons in every part of their life. Rather than give you tools to just get by, this organization looks to help people succeed in life.
In the Resources section, you’ll find anything from finding jobs to legal information and insurance information. Even if you haven’t secured a job, these resources offer funding to keep a roof over your head.
If you’re struggling with fitting back into society after serving time, the list of reentry programs can help you adjust. Some grants or loans may need someone with a criminal background to take part in a reentry program. These programs can help with housing, job-hunting, and mental/emotional health.
Housing Loans and Grants
Through this organization, you can find many types of grants. They range from the Department of Labor, Educational Pell Grants, and scholarships.
A major resource through Help for Felons is the Employment & Training Administration (ETA). In addition to housing and job searching, the ETA provides job training along with insurance and public service programs. Felons, criminals, and others facing job-finding challenges can apply.
Educational Types of Grants
Most jobs today require an education or a specialized set of skills. If you’re still serving time, you can pursue an education, even behind bars.
But not to worry. People recently freed from prison still can return to school or gain training for the workforce.
There are many educational types of grants available to anyone—including felons—looking to learn. The government, such as the ETA, offers several education grants and scholarships.
With any grant or scholarship, you will need to fit the eligibility requirements. You’ll find grants and scholarships offered to particular types of schools, certain educational programs, and certain types of individual needs.
The Pell Grant
Anyone looking to further their education has access to this kind of educational grant. In the past, the grant barred people with a criminal or drug-related record.
While these obstacles still exist, you can overcome them by joining a rehabilitation program or passing the drug tests.
People pursuing an education at an approved technical school or college can apply for the Pell Grant. It’s encouraged that ex-convicts and felons consider learning a trade. Many white-collar jobs discriminate against qualified people with a criminal background.
Trade schools offer training in welding, contracting, electric, carpentry, roofing, CAD, HVAC, mechanics, and much more. There are many job opportunities in these fields as well as the opportunity for advancement.
Scholarships are very similar to grants. The recipient receives money for school but doesn’t have to pay it back. The main difference is the source of scholarship funding.
Scholarships often come from the tech school or college. Most scholarships require eligibility boundaries like grants. Some scholarships will also ask for an essay about yourself or your life plans, so it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your writing skills.
Furthering your education is a great step to success and increases your hiring appeal. Even if you think education may not be for you, give it a chance. The training and funding available will give you a leg up to get back into the job market.
Finding Legitimate Programs & Websites
Be careful as you apply and contact different programs for work and educational opportunities. There are con artists out there looking for ways to scam and make money off of you without offering any benefits.
If you’re unsure about a program or site, check with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They offer great advice on how to spot a scam. It’s often that anything that sounds too good to be true is a scam.
Be smart and do your research before sending any programs or sites your money or personal information.
Freelancer Market Places
Are you planning to be your own boss? A major benefit of freelancing is not having to go through the hiring process. If you have a set of marketable skills, you can find gigs that don’t require a background check.
Freelancing is a low-investment job opportunity. You don’t have to worry about leasing a brick and mortar building or passing credit checks.
Freelancing and the gig economy has a wide range of resources for people who are new to this kind of work. Resources include where to find work, how to find insurance, and where to sharpen your skills—for free. Credible platforms include Upwork, Freelancer, and Design Crowd.
The gig economy is booming. There are more jobs available in almost any industry. You can find a combination of remote (work from home) gigs, in-person contracting, and temporary placements.
As a freelancer, you’re eligible for small business grants. Small business grants don’t need to repayment, so there’s no worry about financing or interest.
Use freelance marketplaces to get connected with customers and get your business started. These platforms will match you with possible customers and handle the payment process. This ensures your customers, no matter where they’re located, are legitimate and willing to pay you.
Some freelancing platforms offer grants and training opportunities. Keep an eye out for any opportunities or conferences to meet people and continue growing your skills.
Business Types of Grants