LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – With crime on the rise in Louisville many people are asking the police chief and mayor for a solution. On Saturday they partially answered that call by putting felons and former criminals back to work.

Fifteen men and women are spending a hot and humid summer painting and renovating a house in Louisville's California neighborhood. They're part of the Jesus and a Job program.

“It's going to be an example of what can be done in this community,” Rev. Charles Elliott told WDRB News.

But the workers aren't just anyone.

“Many of these young men that are working and young ladies that are working on this house are ex-offenders, drug addicts,” Rev. Elliott said.

“Selling drugs, smoking drugs, you name it, robbing. I did it all,” said Thomas Elliott, a Jesus and a Job worker.

With every drop of sweat and hour of hard work put in, the foundation of the house and their lives become something stable.

“My momma would be really proud of what I'm doing with them,” said Dandre Wallington, another worker.  

“That's why programs like this putting our ex-offenders back to work one person at a time, rebuilding a neighborhood, supporting Jesus and a Job is so important,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said he's been attending far too many meetings lately talking about violence in the city.

“Fifty-six people have lost their lives this year, 80 people last year. This year is nowhere over yet,” Chief Conrad said.

He and Mayor Greg Fischer said turning communities around starts with putting people to work and giving them opportunities.

“Because if all of us are in this together we can do what we need to do to make this city a safer place,” Chief Conrad said.

As the worker said -- sometimes you need Jesus, a job, and a little bit of faith.

“I thank God that I don't do what I used to do no more and I don't live the way I used to live,” Thomas Elliott said.   

Workers through Jesus and a Job also played a part in renovating Muhammad Ali's Childhood home.

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