CLEVELAND (WOIO / Gray News) – Two best friends and business owners want to give people with a criminal record a second chance.
WOIO reports that Demetrius Holmes and his childhood friend Charles Brown founded the Cleveland-based logistics company Freewheeling. Her office window offers a view of the district court and the prison where some of her staff have spent time.
“Can’t judge them by their past,” said Holmes. “They are good people. They are good workers. “
The two started their business in early 2020 with the aim of hiring those struggling to find work elsewhere.
A third of the 30 employees in the growing company already has a criminal record. The workers move items such as clothing, water, and products around Cleveland.
“If you got potatoes in Ohio in the next few months, it was most likely on our truck,” Brown said.
They both know that their hiring practices are fraught with multiple challenges, and those who have made poor choices in the past are still stigmatized.
“If you have something on your file, one person will be the first to judge you,” said Holmes. “What we’re trying to do here, we’re trying to overlook it.”
As Freewheeling continues to grow, both owners see no other way than forward.
“We will also start hiring dispatchers and again we will look for people with a criminal record,” said Holmes.
Brown added that he believes this will help transform the lives of people and their families.
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