Growing grapes, saving lives in Cleveland’s tough east side

This Friday, June 24, 2016 photo shows Mansfield Frazier walks by the vineyards at The Vineyards of the Chateau Hough, in Cleveland. Frazier started the vineyard in 2010, hoping to brighten his corner of Cleveland’s... (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (AP) — An urban vineyard isn’t what anyone expects to find in one of Cleveland’s toughest neighborhoods.

The man behind the idea is a former convict using the project to help teach job skills to those just coming out of prison.

Mansfield Frazier says he wants to show there’s still hope for Cleveland’s east side neighborhoods and those trying to move away from a life of crime.

Since starting the vineyard six years ago, Frazier has hired about 50 ex-cons from a nearby halfway house to cut vines, prune and weed. They also learn to show up on time.

They start out as volunteers and get paid if they’re willing to work.

Frazier says about half have gone on to find new jobs as truck drivers, construction workers and in restaurants.

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