ANDERSON, Ind. – Former inmate Ahmed Mays, who will turn 40 Thursday, has not only found a home through a local ministry but he has a job that benefits the community, officials said.
Mays takes apart mattresses so the material can be recycled in a new program offered by Man4Man Ministries, 415 Main St., Anderson.
“I learned about the opportunity here at Man4Man and wanted to rehabilitate myself,” said Mays. “Man4Man Ministries is my family now.”
Mays is one of about 25 men who wake up on workdays and attend Man4Man’s Jump Start meetings to check in on the day’s assignments. The Christian ministry helps transition ex-offenders into the workforce, focusing on such jobs as temporary labor or computer repair.
“I love waking up and coming to those Jump Start meetings,” said Mays, who served time for unlawful possession of a firearm.
“Man4Man takes idle time off your hands, and that helps keep you on track and out of trouble,” said Mays. “[Director] Bob Blume built a relationship with me and that has been big for me both mentally and spiritually.”
Lately, the men have added a new assignment to the daily tasks: mattress recycling.
Three or four employees break mattresses down. Springs, foam and wood are stacked for reprocessing. The men complete an average of one mattress every 15 minutes, said Wayne Potter, Man4Man strategic planner.
“So far we have recycled about 120 mattresses.”
Mays, William Adkins Jr. and others help Man4Man work around 50 different jobs each week, according to officials.
Man4Man employees are paid for their services so they can provide necessities for themselves, their family, and “become a taxpayer,” says Tony Canaday, Man4Man Ministries director of operations.
Tony Quinones, who oversees jobs in construction, deconstruction and maintenance, said Man4Man collects mattresses in Anderson and brings them back to their shop, where they are disassembled and recycled by the employees.