Have you ever needed a second chance? Did you get it?
At the Second Chance Initiative we believe that everyone deserves a second chance, regardless of their past.
We're on a mission to help people build new lives for themselves. At the heart of it all: creating transitional employment opportunities that empower people to take control of their future.
What we're doing
Without a path to self-sufficiency, people cannot truly turn their lives around. We exist to address that problem. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to creating jobs for people who are emerging from adversity, including people transitioning out of homelessness, overcoming drug or alcohol abuse, and/or seeking reentry after incarceration. Our goal is to become a self-sustaining enterprise by making and selling handmade ceramic mugs.
Who are we helping?
The people we work with have spotty employment histories, often including criminal backgrounds, which make them unlikely candidates for traditional roles. This leads to a clear problem: we have people who are hungry to show that they are more than their past, but no chance to prove themselves.
We aim to be the launching pad where they can begin working towards a brighter future, thus breaking the cycle of shame and hopelessness that perpetuates relapse and recidivism.
A key component of breaking this cycle is changing the conversation. We do not see the people we will work with as powerless victims. We see them as empowered survivors who have already taken the hardest step: they’ve decided they want something different for their future and are working to make that happen. We know that they do not want handouts. They want the chance to stand on their own two feet. We want to give them a hand-up.
How we’re doing it
Second Chance Initiative team members will be making and selling handmade ceramic mugs, aligning with our goal of becoming a fully self-sustaining, non-donation-dependent enterprise.
All team members will start by making mugs, gaining experience in manufacturing. Depending on their interest, they will also have the opportunity to gain experience in inventory management, shipping and logistics, bookkeeping, office administration, ecommerce, sales and marketing.
As a transitional employment opportunity, we aim to have team members with us for 9-12 months before they’re prepared to pursue their next step, thus building a sustainable and scalable system of creating jobs for people seeking a second chance.
The big picture
Every single one of us has needed a second chance. No matter who we are, no matter what our story, we’ve needed to start over at some point.
Personally, I needed exactly the same opportunity as our team members: my own story includes getting out of treatment, struggling to find a job because of my background and only truly turning my life around when I was given a second chance.
Here’s what we believe:
- Your past does not define your future
- There is no shame in starting over
- Seeking a second chance is a sign of strength and people who do so deserve to be celebrated
So, here’s to every time any of us have been brave enough to start over, and here’s to creating opportunities for others to do the same