Giving Second Chances: The Keener Foundation

The Keener Foundation is not what you would call a typical staffing agency.

The foundation is helping ex-offenders get back to work.

The founder says getting a second chance can be the difference between a way out and going back down a dark path.

"It started 26 years ago when I went to prison, " says Nathaniel Walker.

Nathaniel Walker hasn't always been the proud owner of Thelma's Kitchen,

A past with drugs led him to prison but he hasn't let that discourage him.

He is now a business owner and helping other ex-offenders.

"This business is not about me but it is about me helping somebody else and right now that is pretty much what I do. I also, I help other recovering addicts get off drugs, and i also, I employ them here, " says Walker.

And one of those employees is Landon Milton, who says he's lucky to have found this job because re-entering society isn't easy.

"It was very difficult because everywhere I went, once you fill out that application about being a felon they will say oh OK but once you keep going back persisting, they will just tell you straight up, we are not hiring and you can feel why, " says Milton.

Lawrence Keener, Founder of the Keener Foundation helps ex-offenders like Milton find employment once released.

"There were so many people that were coming to me who were in a situation that I was in in the past who needed an opportunity to re-enter society and to move beyond their past, " says Keener.

Some say getting a break from the past and starting fresh, Is like being born again.

"Like i just came from up under water, been swimming for hours under water and now I am able to finally get a breath of air. Don't let a mans mistakes be the fabric of his character, " says Ryan Wilson, a Keener Foundation participant.

"These very streets that we are on now, i was shot in 1991. I sold drugs, I did everything under the sun and what I'd like to say to you is there is hope," says Keener.

The Keener Foundation tries to find employment for all their clients at different organizations in the Wiregrass.

If you would like to donate to the foundation, you can go to Friend bank and tell them you want to donate to the Keener Foundation or give them a call at 334 446 4142.


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