From mugshots to headshots: Nonprofit works to help the formerly incarcerated

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — When Philindia Smith showed up to The Fortune Society for the first time Wednesday, she had great hopes for her future.

Homeless for years and previously incarcerated for drugs, Smith is now looking to go to work. And her first step at the Long Island City nonprofit included posing for a photograph.

"It is a beginning, a stepping stone to stay out of the street system," Smith said.

For the first time, The Fortune Society offered its clients free professional head shots. Participants could pick clothing and get a touch-up from a makeup artist before heading to the photographer.

Keon Small smiled as he tried on a new suit.

"Feeling like a great thing, I'm feeling very inspired," he said.

The Fortune Society helps people rebuild their lives during and after incarceration. The hope is that headshots will lead to professional success in life and online.

The Fortune Society's Rob DeLeon said clients were very enthusiastic.

"It is the first time that we've done the headshots, but it's been such a success. So many have come out and have been excited about getting their headshots that it wont be the last time we do it," he said.

To learn more about The Fortune Society, click here.

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