As you may know, Second Chance is dedicated to giving people the opportunity to rebuild their lives through programs that provide career and life skills to become contributing members of society. Since this can be a broad and intimidating spectrum, we wanted to give you a “behind the scenes” look at Second Chance and the daily programs provided.
Powered by STRIVE, a nationally-recognized job readiness program, Second Chance works with former prisoners, the homeless and recovering addicts reentering the community. Active participants engage in 160 hours of intensive instruction. During this time, clients learn skills necessary for self-sufficiency: basic job search skills; development of resumes; career plans; and they learn and practice interview techniques. Since 2003, Second Chance has helped more than 4,000 graduates find employment. But, the work doesn’t stop there. Following the Job Readiness Training program are two years of graduate follow-up services, which allow for graduates to continue onto a better future.
Another key area our organization understands is the importance of creating a better future, especially for our youth. Since 2009, Second Chance has helped more than 600 youth who have been or are currently incarcerated through a variety of lifestyle programs. Current programs include: Youth Garden Program; Youthful Offender Rehabilitation Program; STRIVE for the Future; and Transitional Youth Housing.
The Youth Garden Program is a six-week, job-training program offering youth in-class and experiential learning to increase awareness of urban agriculture and food justice. During this program, participants seed, cultivate, transplant and harvest fruits of their labor. They also gain sales and marketing skills by helping sell harvested produce. Upon completion of the Youth Garden Program, the youth participants receive individual management to work toward a high school diploma, paid internships, part-time and full-time work and education opportunities.
The Youthful Offender Rehabilitation Program (YORP) offers evidence based curricula and behavioral training to aid incarcerated youth. Our counselors work with the young men and women of YORP offering behavioral therapy at East Mesa and Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facilities. During the participant’s maximum 480-day stay topics discussed include: substance abuse; healthy relationships; prostitution; anger management; and victim awareness. Individuals are assigned a counselor specific to their case plan and continue to receive weekly visits from their counselor once released into the community.
STRIVE for the Future is a seven-week program that integrates skill development, academic learning and job experience. The first week entails job readiness training which is followed up by six-weeks of one-on-one mentoring and paid internships that work with Second Chance’s Youth Garden or local businesses. In addition to this, academic learning is provided in partnership with the County Office of Education, preparing participants for internships, employment or secondary education.
Lastly, our Transitional Youth Housing (sober living) is an opportunity for Second Chance to help clients help themselves. We have a total of eight alcohol and drug free homes in the San Diego area and residents are housed here as they transition to permanent employment and housing. The clean and sober living spaces teach participants to care for their living space while property managers oversee all tenants at each house.
Plain and simple, Second Chance strives to help people live a better life after prison. Through a variety of programs, we have created a safe house for ex-inmates to become contributing members of society. With proven success stories, we will continue our vision of “being the most effective solution for reducing recidivism, unemployment and homelessness, empowering our clients to make sustainable personal changes that positively impact society.”