Contractor helps ex-convicts rebuild their lives

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A local builder is helping people who need a second chance by helping them rebuild their lives.

Roderick Daniels said he takes on projects at-cost. So instead of focusing on profits, he's focused on helping his employees gain skills and become independent.

"God has just been a blessing. The importance of giving is huge. You know, not being a taker but being a giver," Daniels said.

He founded KingMakers Community Development Church in Grand Rapids. It's a ministry he and his wife Nicole run. But the builder said he didn't always have his life put together. As a youth, he said he got in trouble with the law.

"Actually was shot five times here in Grand Rapids. Shot twice in the head over there off of Madison and Adams and left for dead. You know, I was abusing drugs at that time and ended up going to prison," Daniels said.

It was in prison where Daniels said he began to turn his life around.

He got out and went to Resurrection Life Church, where he received his pastor's license. Since 2012, his non-profit helps other ex-offenders become productive citizens by teaching them a trade. John, a current employee, is one of his success stories.

Daniels said, "John came home. He didn't have anything, and he was recommended to me from somebody else that he needed a job."

John said, "I was struggling. [Daniels] gave me a place to live rent free until I was able to start paying rent. He was encouraging me to learn the trades with him and go out on my own and start my own business."

John said he now runs his own painting business thanks to Pastor Daniels.

Daniels said, "My thing is training them up, empowering them, showing them how to get business cards, showing them how to get a DBA, showing them how to get a bank account, showing them how to bid on these jobs, get their tools together, and empowering them and send them out."

"We just try to do whatever we can to help people," he stated.

Daniels said he's also in the process of teaming up with Kent County Community Service Program to allow people to do community service through his organization and get trained in the trades.

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2 comments

  • Jewish carpenter

    Perhaps Fox 17 you could spend a little better time doing a little more investigating into this gentleman’s practices, payments, and tax regulations all in the name of God connecting with the county will be the ultimate final accountability for his actions.