Clemency recipient lost her housing

Felicia Smith is a first time non-violent drug offender who received clemency from President Obama on January 19, 2017. She served 12 years on a 24 year sentence for drug conspiracy charges. On March 30, 2017 she was released to a half-way house in Monroe, Louisiana and was excited to embark on her new journey.

Felicia's greatest challenge was finding affordable housing. It wasn't easy. Every housing agency had different requirements and rules that govern who can quailify. It was critical that Felicia find a stable environment so her daughter, Ty'Eryka, (who was 2 years old when Felicia was arrested) could visit, and eventually live with Felicia.

Felicia surmounted every obstacle, one by one. She found part-time employment as a janitor at an elementary school and enrolled at Delta Community College in Monroe, determined to stay far away from the lifestyle that landed her in prison.

Finally, USDA (U.S. Dept of Agriculture) approved Felicia for an apartment after she proved she had no debt and gave a $300 deposit. In the attached Vice news video Felicia proudly shows off her new home, thrilled to  have a place of her own! 

Then came bad news!  While conducting the Vice News interview, Felicia was called by the apartment manager and told she had to move out. Although the manager had cleared Felicia in a national background check, she was told to pick up the $300 deposit and her lease was being terminated due to her prior conviction.

This was devastating. The CANDO Foundation - an organization that advocates justice through clemency - connected Felicia with social justice advocates who came to her aid and moved her from Monroe to Shreveport. Formerly incarcerated, Dolfinette Martin employed Felicia part time at VOTE (Voice of the Experienced)  Fox Rich helped Felicia transfer to Southern University of Shreveport to obtain a four year degree, plus found her temporary housing for $600 a month. Funds were raised to cover Felicia's first month of rent.

We need to raise 8K so Felicia can find a new home. She has no furniture, bed, and very few clothes. She is literally starting over from scratch. She also needs a laptop computer. Please help Felicia Smith succeed - she has earned this second chance but needs our support so she can become the productive citizen she is determined to be, plus a mother who can provide for her daughter, Ty'Eryka.  Together, we CANDO this!

Donations (280)

  • robert coleman
    • $5 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Amy Cando
Shreveport, LA
Felicia Smith

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