“When Shawn Bart came home to New Orleans after serving four-and-a-half years in state prison, he didn’t have much more than the clothes on his back.
His mother was dead and other connections had faded away. He quickly started working two jobs, but his long-term prospects dimmed when the coronavirus outbreak hit the city in mid-March.
Bart, 50, is now one of hundreds of New Orleanians receiving cash infusions from a privately-funded, national program aimed at helping formerly incarcerated people get and stay on their feet during the pandemic.
‘It really, really helps,” he said. “It’s the first time you ever come home from prison and they got something for you, somebody trying to help.'”