Miami Thrift Store Gives Women Coming Out Of Prison Jobs

The Dragonfly Thrift Boutique in Little Havana employs formerly incarcerated women.

Shazonia Horton was released from prison a month ago and the day after her release she had a job waiting for her at the Dragonfly Thrift Boutique in Little Havana.

After serving four years in prison, one of her biggest concerns was how she’d be able to take care of herself when she’s out. The Florida prison system gives ex-offenders $50 and a one-way bus pass to start their new lives on the outside.

“It’s the anxiety that comes with it,” she said. “I don’t want to have to turn to the streets.”

While in prison, Horton connected with the Ladies Empowerment Action Program (LEAP), a Miami-based nonprofit that provides life skills and business classes to women in prison and helps them transition back into the community when they’re released.

To better help with that transition, LEAP recently opened Dragonfly Thrift. The small boutique carries gently used women’s clothing, fashionable baubles and an assortment of books and furniture.  And the store bridges one of the biggest gaps for women leaving the prison system: employment.

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