BUFFALO, NY -- When Tony Hearst decided to open a new restaurant at the corner of East Ferry and Jefferson Avenue, his uncle, Pastor C.H. Walker II, saw an opportunity.
Pastor Walker is the Re-Entry Coordinator at Back To Basics Outreach Ministries. Re-Entry is a mentoring program that finds employment for men and woman who have recently been released from prison.
"And my nephew; who better than to start with him, and with him doing the initiative here, he's made a contract with me that he will hire about 30 of my guys, and ladies, coming home from prisons," Walker said.
It's important to note that none of the folks who worked Monday are part of the re-entry program, but when they do start working, they'll be welcomed into the kitchen by manager Adriane Rushing.
"We've all made mistakes, some of us have been caught some of us haven't, and to teach those that are coming out of prison… to give them a second chance, I just think that we all deserve a second chance," Rushing said.
Photojournalist Dooley O'Rourke was on hand as Solo Eats greeted their first costumers Monday and he shares their story in the video above.