Anthony has lived in the District all his life, growing up in Mt. Pleasant when it was still a rough neighborhood. At 19 he was sent to prison for the first time, and it wasn’t until 2010 that he finally got out, experienced re-entry, and committed himself to changing his life for the better.
But with a prison record Anthony had a hard time applying for work, and without a job, eventually became homeless.
“I went to all the job fairs, and filled out hundreds of applications. But I couldn’t get past that one box: ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony?’”
In 2014, Anthony found Thrive DC. With the help of the employment specialist, he enrolled in the Real Opportunity Training Program to become a professional chef. Despite being homeless when the program started, Anthony arrived on time every day and worked hard to make the most of his opportunity.
“Thrive [DC] has so much to offer. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of it all?”
Today, Anthony has found success as a full-time employee at a restaurant in Adams Morgan. With a consistent salary to look forward to, he is working with Thrive DC’s housing coordinator to find an apartment and become self-sufficient.
“This is just the beginning,” Anthony says. “There’s so much more I’m trying to do, so much more I want to do.”