From prison to the payroll - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

From prison to the payroll: Charlotte woman's success story

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

At first Candice Ickard might not seem to be an American success story.

She works at a coffee stand from 7 am to 3 in the afternoon.

She's part of a two-woman crew that makes coffee, sells snacks and lunches in uptown Charlotte.

But compared with Candace's situation two years ago, her story is a success.  

Eight years ago, she was sentenced to prison.  

She served her time.

"I was actually on my way home from prison and Changed Choices sent me a letter speaking of the number of things that they wanted to," said Candace.

"Our clients have such a hard time finding jobs that pay a living wage that we decided we were going to start our own business," said Melissa Mummert with Second Helping. 

"Right now, that business is a series of coffee carts."

The coffee cart business is called Second Helping.

The work program is making sure women returning from prison become self-reliant, law-abiding residents.

"There are thousands of Charlotteans who have criminal records and who need opportunities," said Melissa.

Today, the mother of two and another former inmate Monique Maddox run two coffee carts in Charlotte and it's going well.  

They plan to soon start their own catering business.

"That way we will be able to employ more of our women that are coming out," said Monique. 

"If we get the kitchen, who knows?  Maybe next, a little restaurant."

They both hope their experience shows others that change is possible.

"It's not a job it's a habit now and we like the habit," said Monique.

Second Helping  also  helps women find housing, navigate city services, get health care, re-unite with their kids and much, more.

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