- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Some incarcerated South Carolina veterans are getting back on their feet, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Military Community Connection of South Carolina, a nonprofit based in North Charleston, is getting more than $400,000 over the next year to expand efforts to help veterans find a job and a place to live, The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Wednesday.

The funding comes from a program intended to help homeless vets get off the streets. Military Community Connection said it plans to focus on helping veterans who are leaving prison return to society on stable footing.

“What we’re doing now is making sure they’re successful when they leave and making sure they get all the benefits they have and really following them all the way through,” said Marie Elana Roland, the nonprofit’s chief executive.

The program centers on MacDougall Correctional Institution, which has a special wing for veterans. Military Community Connection has worked with six inmates there so far and expects to work with close to 100 more by the end of the year.

Roland said her small organization also plans to find clients elsewhere on the coast. Two other groups in Columbia, Fast Forward and Telamon Corp., are also getting Labor Department funding to help homeless vets find jobs.

Dee Albritton, executive director of Fast Forward, said that her group seeks to tailor its clients’ job searches to their skills, but lots of other complicating factors arise - issues like finding a place to live near work and getting a ride to work.

“So much of it has to be about the things that go around employment that you and I take for granted,” Albritton said.

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