Lifelong Friends Open Pizzeria That Exclusively Hires Former Inmates

Some may not believe in the value of second chances and redemption, but for two childhood friends from Philadelphia, it means everything.

Those two men decided to open up their very own pizzeria aimed at offering former inmates an opportunity to rejoin their communities, while also trying reduce their chances of recidivism. These men believe that former inmates should be able to be employed after their time is served, so they personally made a way for that to happen.

These lifelong friends have a passion for restorative justice.

After seeing their loved ones and community members struggle to find employment in North Philadelphia following histories of incarceration, Kurt Evans and Muhammed Abdul-Hadi decided to take action.

As Good Morning America reported, they decided to start a pizzeria together called Down North Pizza where they exclusively hire former inmates to reduce repeat offenses and promote fresh starts.

Load Comments

They provide their employees with plenty of tools to succeed.

Upon being hired, every employee is offered extensive training in the kitchen that not only prepares them for the job, but also teaches them important skills that will help reintroduce to them to society.

"We just want to meet people where they're at and help them along the way," Evans told GMA. "It was very important for us to help these people coming from the system and break the cycle of mass incarceration."

Load Comments

They also offer six months of free housing for unsheltered employees.

Evans and Abdul-Hadi know that it's not easy for former inmates to find housing, so they allow their employees to stay in their upstairs apartment for free. Those employees are given six months to find more permanent housing and get on their feet.

Business has certainly been booming, as the proud owners report that since opening their pizzeria in March, they've had customers lined up for food right out the door.

Load Comments

They hope other businesses will follow their lead.

Many of their employees are success stories that can attest to just how much of a difference Down North has made in their lives. They not only serve up sizzling Detroit-style pizzas but also supply people with something they so desperately need: community support.

We are touched by this story of love and redemption, especially in communities that need them the most.

Let us know what you think of this story in the comments and if you feel inspired by this business.

Load Comments
Next Article