Romain Turner has been out of prison for five months and has run up a $1,800 tab for rent at the halfway house on the former grounds of Fort Des Moines while looking for work.

The 33-year-old Des Moines native said he wants to live a law-abiding life after a criminal history that includes a burglary conviction two years ago. He is trying to figure out how he’s going to pay that new debt off, along with $300 in court fees, $2,000 in victim restitution, child support and rent once he lands a minimum-wage job.

“I just want a chance, but it’s really impossible to make ends meet at $7.25 an hour,” he said. “At $9 an hour I’d have a shot. I’d have a chance to look up every once in a while.”

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