Cons Helping Cons offers free services

Posted at 5:08 PM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 17:08:10-05

On the way to Clearwater Beach, you probably wouldn’t give people digging ditches a second glance.

They’re doing free work for a non-profit that helps veterans with disabilities.

“We don't have the wherewithal, we can't pay maintenance people. So we are reaching out,” said Service Source CEO Frank De Lucia.

Volunteering allows these men and women to build their resume.

“We want to spread the word that we are available and that we are reliable,” said volunteer Larry Daniel.

For most of them, it’s the first job they’ve had in years -- even decades.

“I went to prison for the offense of murder. I served 29 calendar years,” said Daniel. “It was somebody I knew. It was bad circumstance. If I could take it all back, I would.”

Daniel got out of prison almost a year ago.

“Employment was difficult because in Florida sometimes they have to ask you the question of have you been convicted of a felony. Yes, I have been convicted of a felony,” he said.

He’s turning his life around thanks to the group, Cons Helping Cons.

“I'm going to be the worker that doesn't get sick, doesn't show up late and I don't call in excuses. I don't make them and take them,” Daniel said.

The program, founded by an ex-con, uses an extensive vetting process.          

“We turn away as many as we take, so we are pretty serious about letting someone in their house,” said founder Bob Taylor.

Around 90 percent of the volunteers end up finding careers.

For them, it’s a second chance. For everyone else, it reduces the risk they’ll re-offend.

“Everything isn't going to be perfect, but when people see that you are what you say... You can't be interested in doing right, you have to be committed to it,” said Daniel.

The group does everything from lawn services to power washing. If you would like the group to come help you, call Bob Taylor at 813-992-7792.