Virginia Cares looks to General Assembly for funding - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Virginia Cares looks to General Assembly for funding

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A local program helping ex-offenders find jobs is keeping a close eye on Richmond.

Virginia Cares is hoping the General Assembly will pass nearly $1.3 million in funding for the program statewide.

More than $100,000 would go to Total Action for Progress (TAP), which runs the program in Roanoke.

The money helps ex-offenders like Richard Atkins get job training, build a resume, and eventually find work.

"(You) get out of prison and people don't want to deal with you," he said. "You get down and end up doing the wrong thing and go back. Having Virginia Cares is very important to me."

Atkins found a job within a month of joining Virginia Cares. He starts Monday.

Virginia Cares Employment Specialist Shawn Hunter said the money is critical in helping ex-offenders find jobs and stay out of trouble.

"If the doors are closed, they have to eat, they have to live," Hunter said. "We're trying to prevent that, from them going back out there and committing crimes. I could be the next victim, somebody else could be the next victim."

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