Skip to content

A church-run soul food restaurant offers jobs for ex-offenders

on February 21, 2012

California prison realignment has over populated county jails but it also forced early releases for many low level offenders. However, many employers are still unwilling to hire ex-offenders. A study conducted by Steven Raphael, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, concluded that “over 40 percent of employers indicated that they would ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ not be willing to hire an applicant with a criminal record.”  It is also noted that the effective transition of ex-offenders into non-institutionalized society depends largely on them finding employment.

Now with over 65 million Americans reported to have an arrest or conviction on their record, it seems nearly impossible for an employer to hire a person that does not have a criminal history. But Soul’s Restaurant in East Oakland was founded in 2009 by Acts Full Gospel Church in East Oakland with one goal: to provide jobs to those men and women struggling to transition back into non-institutionalized society.


  1. shayne on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    It would have been nice if this article were longer, by perhaps articulating how Soul’s has help ex-convicts.

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top