FreshStart Employment Program

FreshStart Employment Program

The FreshStart Employment Program is intended to serve with integrity, empathy, ethics, excellence, equity.

Our mission is to interrupt the reoccurrence of recidivism.

Our primary goal is to advocate for individuals returning to their communities from incarceration or with non-incarceration infractions that produce barriers to stable or full-time employment.

In collaboration with community partners and advocates, the FreshStart Employment Program will ensure participants are supported in coordinated programs and training (case management, budgeting skills, job skills training and soft skills, etc.), including housing, and other comprehensive services.

FreshStart Dashboard

The FreshStart Employment Dashboard is fixated on employment management which helps in analyzing and monitoring, hiring stats, attrition, and retention rates, among other critical metrics. The objective of this dashboard is to monitor and/or address success and/or areas of improvement through program management and observation for reporting purposes within internal departments.

FreshStart Employment Staff: will work with multiple City departments to create an inventory of City job opportunities available exclusively for FreshStart Employment clients. This curated list includes, a varied set of opportunities, tailored to different skills, interests, and abilities, and generally includes entry-level positions with career growth potential. FreshStart Employment also supports the client throughout the application and interview process, before the process handoff to Human Resources for new hire onboarding. To prevent background checks from becoming a barrier, the City of Dallas has adjusted its background check process for FreshStart Employment clients, who have completed all eligibility, readiness, and training requirements.

FreshStart Employment Support Services: In addition to providing job readiness and training sessions, EMS will provide regular check-ins with clients for the six months of employment. This service will provide emotional support, and practical advice and help solve any issues that may arise on the job. This is also an opportunity for clients to receive advice on dealing with potential personality disputes, handling supervisor feedback and criticism and otherwise navigating the social environment of their new professional life.

FreshStart clients are considered eligible, by meeting all criteria below: The initial step to pre-determine program eligibility is to complete and submit the online pre-eligibility form.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Considered by pre-eligibility determination
  • Released from incarceration a minimum of “upon release” to six (6) months ago (if applicable)**
  • Have other arrests on criminal background report (without incarceration)**
  • A minimum of 6 months of stable housing
  • Have attended or agree to attend workforce development training and/or a  job readiness workshop 
  • Apply via the City of Dallas Employment site for “FreshStart” tagged positions
  • must be coachable and willing to learn


Marcus Stewart

Reentry Workforce Coordinator


2022 Community Impact Event Presented by the Small Business Center FreshStart Program

The City of Dallas Small Business Center hosted the  Inaugural Community Impact Event, a community leader-led discussion on the significance of the economic and workforce ecosystems. The goal is to expand our partnerships to provide opportunities to justice-impacted individuals with a focus on workforce training and skills required to obtain and maintain sustainable employment. 2022 Community Impact...

FreshStart Spotlight: Dallas Water Utilities and Parks and Recreation

The FreshStart Employment Program offers intentional assistance to justice-impacted individuals with obtaining stable and gainful employment opportunities within the City of Dallas. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dallas Water Utilities and Park & Recreation for being deserving departments. For your hiring support and dedication to second chances...

FreshStart Employment Program

Committed to Service First, we intend to serve with integrity, empathy, ethics, excellence, equity. The mission is to interrupt the reoccurrence of recidivism. The goal is to advocate and champion for individuals returning to their communities from incarceration, and others that are underrepresented and/or economically challenged. We will provide a solution to...