First Plymouth Congregational Church has an active Outreach Ministry reaching out to the greater community and educating the congregation in ways to help others. The Outreach Ministry receives nominations for the “Share-the-Plate” program from parishioners and the wider community. Each Sunday the worship service hosts a “Moment for Mission” segment where a representative of the recipient organization speaks to the needs and successes of their organization. 80% of the funds collected during the service for “Share-the-Plate” flow through the church to the organization. The remaining 20% is retained in the Outreach Ministry fund for future educational programs and other outreach purposes.
Share-the-Plate this January is
Second Chance Center
The Second Chance Center, Inc. (SCC), a Colorado based 501c3, began its 7th year in February 2019. Our growth and development reflect the vision of Executive Director Hassan A. Latif, and we are the premier community re-entry program in Colorado.
In 2018, almost 23,000 men and women were incarcerated in Colorado State correctional facilities at an average cost to taxpayers in excess of $36,000 per person per year. Approximately 800 men and women are released monthly from these facilities with a majority returning to the Denver metro area; of these 150 are released into homelessness. Generally, our clients lack significant family support or diminished personal resources to provide for basic needs. Many have struggled with troubled or abusive childhoods, poor education, and/or mental health and substance use disorders. The majority are economically disadvantaged upon release; they are yearning for self-sufficiency and self-respect; while endeavoring to live as productive citizens.
What We Do
SCC serves an increasing number of these returning citizens with an integrated and innovative program of mentoring, counseling, education, job training, and community engagement. Services include practical assistance in accessing jobs, emergency housing, mental health and substance abuse counseling, life skills development, and transportation. Over the last year, client touches have increased from about 1100 to 1300 touches per month. Most of those served have been classified by the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) as medium- to high-risk of returning to prison. In Colorado, nearly 50% of those released, return to custody within a three-year period. Incidentally, the national recidivism rate is 39%. In stark contrast to national and local trends, the recidivism rate for SCC clients is less than 10%.
As we know, affordable housing is a significant challenge for many in our community. For returning citizens, housing remains one of the biggest obstacles to successful reintegration. Second Chance Center is proud to announce a new 50-unit Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) project in Aurora, called Providence at The Heights. The Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) and the Colorado Division of Housing (DOH) have recognized the need of this marginalized population and have designed funding programs to address this need. Both CHFA and DOH have come into partnership with Second Chance Center by awarding Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and project-based housing vouchers for this project. We are grateful, beyond measure, to see this vision fulfilled in Aurora, where Second Chance Center is based, and already serving our citizens with compassion and love. This community is the perfect place for our returning citizens to rebuild their lives and to contribute once again, to their families, to our neighborhood, and to our city. We broke ground and began construction on January 4, 2019 and are slated to complete the development and be leased up by February 2020.
Some of the Former Recipients:
A Little Help
The Action Center
Audubon Society of Greater Denver
Casa de Paz
Colfax Community Network
Denver Inner City Parish
Denver Police Brotherhood Association
Friends of Man
Friends of The Haven
GraceFull Community Cafe
Loaves and Fishes
Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative
New Foundations: Alternatives to Violence
Reach Out And Read Colorado
Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN)
Rocky Mountain Stroke Center
Second Chance Center
The Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado