Government Grants For Ex-Felons

Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Lori Pace

A felony record can make it challenging to find work. But have you ever heard of Grants for Ex-Felons?

Many ex-inmates are eager to open a business after they leave prison. This would allow you to not be dependent on an ill-willed marketplace for employment. However, the business option comes with its own challenges. Small business loans are often not available to felons. They could spend hours at the Department of Labor, but get no results. It can be difficult to find funding and training in this country and this problem only gets worse if you have a criminal history. 

Grants are financial instruments provided by state governments. These financial instruments can be used to help you obtain the financing you need to start your own small business. You are legally eligible for any grant that is open to the public. So, it is a good idea to concentrate on the grants that are specific to your situation.

What Are Grants?

A grant is money that is given to someone without being repaid. Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need. This means that grants are usually not available to people who have a job and make $50,000 per year.

Grants for Ex-Felons
What is the grant?

These grants are great because you can use them as long as they align with their original intent. They don’t require repayment. Although grants are often awarded based on a variety of criteria, each individual’s needs will determine the grant amount. Private companies as well as governing bodies offer grants or programs to ex-convicts who want to start a business or receive federal student aid.

How To Use Grants For Ex-Felons

Federal, state, and local governments as well as private organizations can make grants for felons. These grants can be used in many ways, including the following:

These grants are intended to provide financial assistance to convicted felons to help them live productive and healthy lives after release.

What You Should You Expect

It is essential to know that being an ex-inmate does not automatically make you a grant recipient. Ex-offenders will also need to do the legwork and present a strong case for any grant. They must be proactive and take all necessary steps to prove their worth. However, it doesn’t mean that being incarcerated should be a reason not to consider grant options.

Talk to your counselors, therapists, or other prison personnel for help. Most grants for felons are available to anyone who is still behind the wall. Many grant applications can be submitted online or in paper form. Moreover, you can send the paper applications via postal mail. So, what grant program youshoud looking for depends on your efforts to grow and be productive.

They want to see everything you have done to successfully integrate into society. They will search for educational opportunities, basic and transitional programs, as well as rehabilitative initiatives. The following services are available to both ex-inmates and current inmates.

What Grants For Ex-Felons Can You Use

Correctional Facility

You may be eligible for funding from the facility where your are currently being held if you are still in prison. Inmates across the country have many options.

  • The Last Mile – Preparation for a Tech Startup (California. Kansas. Indiana. Oklahoma. Michigan).
  • Defy Ventures – Given Post-release (California. Connecticut. Illinois. Washington, Colorado).
  • Project ReMade – Given Post-release (California. Connecticut. Illinois. Washington, Colorado).

Other Options: BEST, Mercy Corps Northwest, Resilience Education, and the Ohio Prison Entrepreneurship Program. Hence, to find out what options are available, contact a reentry worker at your facility.

Help For

Help for Felons provides support for felons and inmates in all aspects. They can access financial assistance, finding work, reentry programs and housing. This organization can help you find federal and state grants that are specifically designed to aid felons.

Federal Education Loans And Business Grants for Ex-Felons

One goal might be to become a graphic designer or an HVAC tech. You might want to learn graphic design or become an HVAC tech. This would require further education, training, or certification. This could also include building the entrepreneurial foundation of a business. Federal Education Loans and Business Grants for Felons are behind the federal Pell Grant and federally sponsored student loans. 

1. can be used to help small business owners, whether they are felons or not, find grant opportunities through more than 1,000 federal grant programs. You can create a Workspace account by entering your information. You can then search for grants that meet your eligibility and submit an online application.

2. GrantWatch

GrantWatch, another grant database, can be used to help ex-felons business owners (and other) find funding opportunities. This database contains details about nearly 28,000 grant programs, as well as almost 1,200 small-business grants.

To access the entire database, subscribers will be required. A membership costs $18 per week or $199 per annum. There is an option for a free membership that will provide limited information about grants.

3. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Ten small businesses are eligible for grants up to $50,000 in FedEx Office print or small business services. Other recipients may also be eligible for smaller grants, up to $20,000, and other perks. This year’s contest entry window has now closed. To prepare for the next round, you can still review eligibility requirements online. FedEx reserves the right to conduct background checks on finalists.

4. State and Regional Small Business Grants

Small business grants may be available in your state, county, or city. So, searching for resources at organizations like:

  • Economic development centers
  • Local churches and religious groups
  • Websites of the state, county, and city governments

New Mexico, for example, offers several recovery and stimulus programs. The state’s Business Recovery Grant Program offers grants up to $100,000 to help with rent, mortgage or lease payments. Many small business grants programs are available throughout the United States.

Federal Grants For Ex-Felons

Federal grants offer the most grant opportunities for the public. is the best place to learn about these grants. This is the site where you can learn how to apply. These grants are not available to all types of businesses or industries. These programs will focus more on your business ideas, heritage, and other traits, as well as your character and ability to succeed.

Grants For Ex-Felons From The Department Of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration provides grants for felons who are either out of prison or felons who are pre-released.

To assist workers who have been displaced, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was passed. So, visit a One-Stop Career Center to learn more about these resources. It is one of the resources designed to assist felons in obtaining financial aid and grants for job training.

Also, the mandates of WIOA are coordinated with American Job Centers. This should be something you bring up to employers who hire felons. You might find that they don’t know about this grant, and you may have a better chance of getting hired.

The Pell Grant

Pell Grants are available for ex-felons who want to continue their education. Although past drug-related convictions will prevent you from initially receiving Pell Grant money for your education, this can be overcome by going through a drug rehabilitation program, passing random drug tests, and completing a drug rehabilitation program.

Any college or trade school can apply for the Pell Grant program. Many white-collar occupations discriminate against felons so it might be worth your time to look into trade schools that provide training for blue-collar jobs. There are courses that can lead to jobs such as electrician, roofer or carpenter, CAD, and HVAC drafter.

To make the most of a Pell grant, felons need to consider their career focus when applying. As they don’t have to be repaid, scholarships for prisoners can be similar to grants. The difference between a scholarship and a grant is how the funding was obtained. Institutions or schools give most scholarships. Sometimes, awards of $1,000 to $5,000 are also offered for writing essays.

Pell Grant Reminders

  • Pell Grants are often given to undergraduate students who wish to continue their education and get a bachelor’s or professional’s degree.
  • You may not be eligible for student loans if you are a felon or have been in prison. However, you might still qualify for Pell Grant with proper filing and statistics.
  • However, keep in mind that your grant will be withdrawn if you are not good enough.
  • Federal Pell Grant eligibility will be affected if you are convicted of an offense that is subject to involuntary Civil Commitment.

Grants For Ex-Felons Reminder

Lightbulb, Concept, Cork, Bulletin, Post, Paper
Some notices for Grants

Grants Are Not Completely Free

Even though you don’t have to repay them for their generosity, don’t let that stop you from considering federal grants as an option. It will take effort. Every application is also different. So, ou will lose out on your competition if you don’t pay attention.

Define Your Grant Goal

You are aware that you are in financial need, and that your history and low income status put you in a difficult place. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are not eligible for grants. The main reason people get rejected is that they apply for the wrong grants. Applying for jobs is a lot of work. You should make the most of your time.

Find A Counsel

There are many websites that provide information or assistance for a fee. These websites should be approached with caution. These websites can only do so much for you. The SBA is one of many resources that can help you. Hackers will call you claiming that they have your grant information, but require a fee in order to release it.

Grant “Services”

There are many websites that provide information or assistance for a fee. These websites should be approached with caution. These websites can only do so much for you. The SBA is one of many resources that can help you. Hackers will call you claiming that they have your grant information, but require a fee in order to release it.

Grant Proposals

Your proposal is one of the most critical aspects in securing a grant. You should find someone who has sharp writing skills. Some services do grant writing. You can choose to work with one of these organizations or carefully research how to create a grant proposal.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!