Volunteers spend Juneteenth improving Oak Cliff apartments to help give former inmates a second-chance

This Juneteenth, teams of volunteers chose to work, cleaning, painting and planting at an Oak Cliff apartment complex where men coming out of prison will have a fresh start.

The workers at the Lockridge Apartments are volunteers from powerful corporations like Turner Construction North Texas and AECOM Hunt.

"Couldn't be more proud to be here and help support the program, just do a tiny little part to see some of those folks just get a fresh start and get a second chance," said Monte Thurmond, the ex-Vice President at AECOM Hunt.

The apartments were purchased by Dallas County as transition housing as part of a second-chance initiative for men getting out of prison.

"This is housing that they'll do until they get on their feet. They'll learn financial literacy and whatever other challenges they are having they will learn how to manage them as they transition out," said Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.

Before they can come to the apartments, they have to go through a 5-week training by the Regional Black Contractors of America. They must get OSHA certifications and then Regional Black Contractors finds them a job.

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"I'm very grateful and thankful after doing twenty-two years it was hard for me to get any leg up," said Sean Reeves, a resident at the apartments. "I'm working now with PNC Electric and I'm doing very well for my family, you know, thanks to the help from the second-chance initiative. I'm very grateful and thankful."

It is more than just a fresh coat of wet paint. This is transitional housing for people who need a second chance. The work done is also part of that transformation.

"It means hope right?" said Anthony Virgil with the Regional Black Contractors of America. "When talking about hope we're talking about a new beginning, a fresh start. It's letting the people know that we are out here in the community providing these types of services."


Volunteers repair North Texas veteran's home

James Enochs, a disabled veteran, spent years serving as a combat photographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Last week volunteers worked to make James and his wife Linda's home safer.

A lot of hands are helping with the fresh start.

"It's about the genuine giving back beyond the sticks and bricks," said Nick Barker, the Vice President and General Manager of Turner Construction. "We do a lot of work around the country and here in North Texas, but the genuineness, the authentic ability to really give back, that's what it's about."