This Co-op Gives Formerly Incarcerated People Jobs and Community

 
After 14 years of incarceration, seven of it in solitary confinement, Juan Reid found himself living in a van, unable to get a steady job, struggling with bills, addiction, and the residue of childhood trauma. As Reid puts it, he was "going down the wrong path."

"I was knocking on the door of the penitentiary again," Reid says. "I got rent free, three meals a day brought to my cell like room service. That lifestyle began to feel easier to me."

When he met Allison Basile, an organizer working to create Coop DC, a co-op network in Washington, D.C., his life changed. Basile introduced Reid to the idea of worker cooperatives and the two of them created Tightshift Laboring Cooperative, a worker-owned moving, landscaping, and cleaning services business.

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