Providing SEcond Chances

Every year, over 600,000 people make the difficult transition from prison to their communities. According to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, one-third of New York City felony and misdemeanor probationers were rearrested within three years. Many face significant barriers to finding meaningful employment.

STRIVE leads the nation in creating solutions that propel individuals re-entering society into careers that lead to upward mobility and access to the promise of the American Dream.  Working in predominantly Black and Brown communities, STRIVE provides life-changing skills training and supports to help students find sustained employment in careers that allow them to advance.

Gotham Gives is partnering with STRIVE to deliver Fresh Start, a program that provides critical training and support to adults leaving incarceration. STRIVE’s holistic model includes training to help students find lasting careers with real growth opportunities, and strategies to help them address employment barriers and include support for housing, food insecurity, child care, and mental health issues.

With Gotham Gives’ support, STRIVE’s Fresh Start will deliver services to 300 low-income adults over three years including job training and work experience. STRIVE’s model incorporates motivational interviewing tactics that promote social-emotional learning to reinforce positive behaviors. Fresh Start offers career readiness training, occupational skills training, internships, job placement assistance, post-placement engagement, and lifetime support.

We expect that 70% of Fresh Start participants will be employed, or in an apprenticeship, or engaged in post-secondary education by the end of the three years.  No more than 60 people will return to jail within 12 months of their release. STRIVE has a long history working with returning citizens in New York City. In a reentry program that ran 2018-2021, STRIVE graduates met or exceeded goals for employment with a recidivism rate of only 1%.