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Convicted felons get second chance during High Point Furniture Market

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Convicted felons are getting a second chance during the High Point Furniture Market thanks to a partnership between the police department and a local recycling facility.

During Market, the High Point Material Recovery Facility in Jamestown takes in four times their usual amount of cardboard boxes and Styrofoam.

Melanie Bruton, the superintendent of the facility, says this week they are running at full speed as mountains and mountains of recycling are piling up.

"The city was kind of in a crisis as they are twice a year with the avalanche of this cardboard coming in from furniture market," said Jim Summey, executive director of the High Point Community Against Violence. Bruton says the operation is currently understaffed. That's when the city and the High Point Police Department decided they could work together to solve two problems.

The city is employing five ex-offenders from the High Point Community Against Violence Violent Offenders Program. "I hope the community sees that we are trying and repeat offenders are trying to change our life and make a better life for ourselves," said Jerome Moore of High Point, who's been in the program about two years.

Moore and four others are working at the recycling facility during furniture market. Summey and Moore agreed that the job is a new start.

"A lot of society looks down upon the guys that are in our program. This is the way for them to say hey, we can work hard like anybody else; we can be dependable," Summey said.

The High Point Police Department is paying the hourly wages for the five workers at the city's material recovery facility. Bruton says the partnership is working well and hopes they can continue it during other furniture markets.

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