For Immediate Release 

January 16, 2024 


Amanda Powers 
2nd Street 
(518) 928-9888 
[email protected] 

Funds will bolster staff support of formerly incarcerated individuals

PITTSFIELD, MA — The Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Economic Development (EOED) has awarded Second Street Second Chances, Inc., a Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Program (CERP) grant in the amount of $300,000 for 2024.

2nd Street Board President Mark Gold explained that the grant money will support the cost of current staff salaries and cover the cost of hiring of two more Community Resource Navigators for the first six months of 2024.

Community Resource Navigators connect with formerly incarcerated individuals to assess their needs and to provide access to a wide range of services and referrals, including medical and mental health services, substance use treatment, financial resources, transportation, housing, job training and employment, legal services and more. Navigators work with each client to develop an individualized reentry plan.

This is 2nd Street’s third CERP grant. In December 2021, Berkshire Community College, as a collaborating partner and fiscal agent, received a CERP grant of $240,300. The grant allowed 2nd Street — then in its infancy — to furnish its space; expand community relationships; create its brand; develop a plan for fiscal management, provide for governance and sustainability of its programs; and start welcoming clients. In December 2022, 2nd Street received a direct CERP grant of $75,000 to support 2023 operations and underwrite the cost of a strategic planning process.

“The EOED was critically important to the creation and growth of 2nd Street right from the beginning. By earmarking this generous sum for 2024, they have recognized 2nd Street as a vital part of our community,” Gold said. “The EOED is all about collaboration, job creation and business growth, and we are proud to support their mission.”

2nd Street Executive Director Jason Cuyler said, “We’ve come a long way since the first grant just two years ago. The EOED had faith in us to succeed, and we have done that. We have served hundreds of clients, not only providing them with critical resources and services, but also helping them become valued, productive members of their community.”

Assuming 2nd Street meets the criteria of the grant, EOED may offer grant renewals for 2025 and 2026, Gold explained.

“If we qualify for renewals, the CERP grant will help ensure our financial viability beyond the expiration of the ARPA grant from the City of Pittsfield, which means we will meet the very ambitious three-year goal we set in 2021,” he said.

The EOED’s Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Program was developed to support communities with high rates of criminal justice system involvement, widespread poverty and large groups of disadvantaged and underrepresented populations. Now in its third year, CERP saw its most competitive grant funding round yet, with 140 applications received.

About 2nd Street

Second Street Second Chances, Inc., better known as 2nd Street, supports formerly incarcerated persons in Berkshire County and connects them with the tools, programs and support they need to successfully reenter their community. 2nd Street is committed to treating formerly incarcerated individuals with respect and encouragement; providing them with job readiness skills and access to employment opportunities; preparing them to become productive and contributing citizens; and educating and advocating for communities to embrace them as such. Services and referrals include medical and mental health resources, substance use disorder services, financial resources and literacy, transportation, family reunification, housing, job training and employment, and legal services. Visit 2nd Street at