Finding a JOB for YOU
In this website, HAPAH will try and provide you with the most up-to-date information about finding a job, certifications, training, education, etc.
(Dedication, with a little possible frustration, along with some patience should hopefully pay off to help you towards your goal of getting a meaningful job for your future.)
The key to looking for jobs is try and stay with smaller and local businesses. The larger corporations will only run a background check, and not get to know who you are. Smaller companies (the "mom & pop" shops) you can talk to about your situation and are usually understanding. Remember, we are fortunate to be in DC that banned the box, meaning employers cannot ask you about a criminal history. It can only be brought up if they are possibly going to hire you. (DC is also good at hiring ex-felons)
This link is dated, but a good place to look for felon-friendly jobs.
Hospitality, if you are interested, and can be an area for you to grow. Restaurants are good, Hotels especially chains will do a background check. Marriott is not friendly, but Hilton is.
(A liquor license in DC requires a background check that goes back 5 years).
Retail, depending on the store, will run a credit check and possibly more. (GAP Inc. (Banana Republic, Old Navy, and GAP) are not ex-felon friendly, but you could be an sales associate with a credit check)
BASIC WEBSITES FOR JOB SEARCHES
Columbia University offers a program called Justice Through Code (JTC), which offers career-track opportunities in the technology industry. (Online options are available)
Georgetown University's Pivot Program, in partnership with DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), "is a one-year transition and re-entry program centered on a blend of academic work and supported employment."
Education is an option for even ex-felons, and Pell grants and federal loans are available (unless you were convicted of a drug felony on a campus then it will take more work).
For federal loans and grants, first you must fill out this FORM