By: Helena Oliviero, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sept 13, 2017
When Darnell Wood was released from prison a year ago, he immediately started looking for a job.
As the weeks dragged on — two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, Wood was no closer to securing employment.
Staying in a homeless shelter, Wood received letters from staffing agencies telling him that his criminal record made him a poor candidate for jobs. He had served close to 17 years for an armed robbery of a pawn shop.
Feeling despondent and defeated on a warm fall day last September, Wood sat slumped in a chair outside in Little Five Points, and burst into tears and started sobbing.
But then, his luck — and life — started to change.
An acquaintance from the shelter approached Wood, offered a cigarette, and said, If you are looking for a job, all you have to do is go to First Step.
First Step — Staffing for Good — is a local nonprofit staffing agency that helps find jobs for people with “barriers for employment,” which include people who are homeless or without a permanent residence, people who have been incarcerated, and struggling veterans.