For This Volunteer, Knowledge is Key.

When she worked at the NYC Department of Social Services, Deborah Williams often met people with conviction histories who were making every effort to find a job and rebuild their lives. “Yet,” says Ms. Williams, “they were denied employment, even for minor violations. This seemed so wrong to me, so unfair.”

As a volunteer with CSS's Next Door Project, Deborah is able to step in and assist these men and women in a very tangible way. She helps clients request and review their official criminal records, correct any errors, and apply for certificates that can open the door to work and occupational licensing.

For many of her clients, simply finding out what’s there—or not there—is a huge relief. “One woman came in fearing her conviction history was the end of the world, only to find out that she did not actually have a single criminal conviction,” said Deborah. “She was free to pursue whatever type of employment she wanted.”simply finding out what’s there—or not there—is a huge relief

Volunteering as a Next Door Project Counselor “is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I can help people in a whole new way.”

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