ConBody opened in January and is housed in the basement of a Buddhist temple because as Marte tells Gothamist, finding real estate was “one of the hardest things he’s ever dealt with, besides prison.” There is a prison door and a lineup wall, and the website even lists intake details. “A lot of people come here because of word of mouth,” he explains, “and they know to expect the aesthetics of a prison.”
Now that he has a space, he’s working on hiring his trainers. “My whole mission and movement is to hire as many formerly incarcerated individuals as I can, but I don’t discriminate,” Marte says. “If they check the box no, they don’t have a felony, I can hire them, too.” The problem with hiring ex-cons? Not their work ethic or their attitude, but having to figure out schedules that fit with their parole.