| June

 

At CollectiveSun, we are honored to collaborate with many visionary nonprofits. Today we shine a spotlight on our nonprofit partner Second Chance in San Diego, which supports hundreds of justice-involved men, women, and youth in seeking positive pathways to meaningful change. 

In addition to training, educational programs, and support services, Second Chance provides sober-living housing for the populations they serve. The organization partnered with CollectiveSun to install solar on their housing units, not only saving money that they can use for their crucial mission but also giving residents increased pride in their homes. In this interview, we hear from Second Chance President and CEO Bill Payne, whose commitment and passion for helping his community shines through.

Tell us about your organization’s mission

Our mission at Second Chance is to disrupt the cycle of incarceration by helping at-risk youth and justice-involved people on a path towards empowered self-sufficiency. Through a combination of education, encouragement, specialized training, and additional support, we help people overcome barriers in the areas of housing, behavioral health, substance abuse, life skills, and employment. 

Who benefits from the programs you provide? 

The people who turn to Second Chance for help are people who go through life never getting a chance due to their circumstances, be it incarceration or homelessness. People re-entering our society need a community of support around them. They need our society to see them as people, not problems. They need … a second chance.

Second Chance is an organization that provides the tools and resources for justice-involved individuals to forge a new path for their lives. Our programs foster self-sufficiency, with the goal of creating independent, empowered members of society. We equip communities in need with the tools they need to stand on their own two feet — making our communities safer and stronger.

How will you use the savings generated by going solar to further support your mission? 

Justice-involved people often face a bleak and uncertain future. Our participants are surrounded by tremendous challenges, which include meeting their basic needs such as housing and healthcare, as well as the stigma associated with people’s previous incarceration. Other barriers limit access to opportunities and inhibit self-sufficiency. Our organization breaks the cycle of incarceration, helping people who are ready to change find true independence, learn healthier ways of living. and become self-sufficient and contributing members of society.

Our programs are a solution to the broken economics of the current criminal justice system, which is both expensive and ineffective. The savings generated by going solar in the operation of our Sober-Living Housing Program reduce operating costs and offer the opportunity for this vital program to be more sustainable. This in turn provides safety and stability as our residents are co-enrolled in our mutually supportive community reentry and workforce development programs.

Tell us about your solar systems

We have four roof-mounted solar systems installed at our sober-living housing residences. 

The new solar systems are not just incredibly efficient; they are also sleek and attractive, adding to — rather than detracting from — the aesthetics of each home. Their modern look increases the pride our residents have in their homes and contributes to the residents’ motivation to earn their second chance in our communities. Having pride in one’s home is a key contributor to forming important connections to the communities we all live and work in.

What would Second Chance want people to know about you that they might not know?

I like to say that the people who go through our programs were not “given” a second chance; they EARN their second chance by deciding that they want to change the trajectory of their lives. The critical success factors of personal accountability and receptivity to change come from our participants.

How would someone get in touch with Second Chance to learn more about your services?

To learn more about Second Chance, visit our website at www.secondchanceprogram.org. You can contact us at https://www.secondchanceprogram.org/contact-1.

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