Queens block party held for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers


QUEENS — Formerly incarcerated New Yorkers who now own their own small businesses celebrated Sunday at a Queens block party.

Sharon Richardson, CEO of Just Soul Catering, has been home for 11 years.

“We’re all here together today doing the same thing, walking the same path,” she said.

Evie Litwok, founder of Witness to Mass Incarceration, explained the need to buy things from each other to help lift formerly incarcerated New Yorkers out of poverty.

“We are doing our best with very little, with very few resources, and we’re making it,” she said.

Richardson said she wants to pay her taxes and move on from her life behind bars.

“We’re not monsters, formerly incarcerated people are not monsters,” she said. “We’ve done our time, paid our dues and came home.”

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