Kim Kardashian plans to pay five years in rental fees so that the first person released under President Trump’s new criminal reform laws can obtain housing.
Former prisoner Matthew Charles posted a Facebook post that said Kardashian secretly offered to cover his rental fees and help him find a home. Charles was having trouble finding housing after his prison release in January.
In a Facebook post from March 10, as obtained in a screenshot by TMZ, Charles shared the good news.
“I just received the most wonderful news tonight that I just had to share with everyone. Kim Kardashian-West, through Tracy, said they heard about my situation. Was moved and decided to help me. And to me in an unbelievable way,” Charles wrote.
Charles was the first person released from prison under the recently passed First Step Act. Once he got out of prison, his status as a convicted felon, along with a lack of credit history due to many years in prison, made renting an apartment very difficult.
Since his release, Charles has obtained full-time employment, a car, and had been staying with a friend, the Tennessean reported.
“We regret that we were unable to approve your request,” read a letter addressed to Charles from leasing agency Forest Park Apartments, obtained by the Tennessean. “This leasing recommendation is because of one or more applicant’s prior criminal history or rental housing related civil record history.”
Amy Jan, a manager at Forest Park, said typically application approvals or denials are based on credit, income, and criminal history, and that problems with any one of those could affect the outcome. She also said the company has a policy of not renting to felons convicted of violent offenses.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) March 12, 2019
“I’m (just) looking for a two-bedroom apartment or home that’s affordable,” Charles told the Tennessean. “But because a lot aren’t felony-friendly, and I’ve been gone for 22 years and didn’t have any credit, they are just among the obstacles felons face coming back into society.”
Charles was the first to benefit from the First Step Act, which allowed a judge to retroactively apply the earlier Fair Sentencing Act to Charles’s case, resulting in his release from prison.
Charles was serving a 35-year sentence for drug charges. He was released in 2016, after a court agreed to let him out early.
“Matthew has managed to overcome incredible odds to become a productive member of society,” said Tim Hardiman, a friend of Charles, via the Tennessean. “When he was released from prison in 2016, Matthew managed to find steady employment, reliable transportation, and a place to live while he was reconnecting with his family and volunteering regularly in the community.”
However, Charles was ordered back to prison in 2018 to serve out the rest of the sentence, after the court’s decision was reversed. After the First Step Act was signed into law, in Dec. 21, 2018, Charles soon got his freedom back.
WATCH: @SandraSmithFox spoke with @ROCKYBOIMAN50 and Matthew Charles, the first prisoner released under President Trump’s First Step Act, about their initiative in KY to help at-risk people #nine2noon pic.twitter.com/cRs57SILEY
— America’s Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) March 8, 2019
After his release, Charles was a guest of President Donald Trump, for the 2019 State of the Union address, on Feb. 5.