FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 27, 2022
PITTSFIELD, MA — 2nd Street, an organization supporting formerly incarcerated men and women in Berkshire County, has received a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program (CERP). The competitive grant program was developed to support communities that have historically faced disproportionate challenges to economic growth, specifically those with high rates of incarceration and/or recidivism, widespread poverty and large groups of disadvantaged and underrepresented populations.
The award is part of more than $17 million in CERP grants for 66 projects throughout the Commonwealth, according to the Baker-Polito administration and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.
Grant funding for 2nd Street will support:
- Development of a sustainability planning study, including a plan to source revenue when American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the City of Pittsfield ends on June 30, 2025
- A comprehensive strategic plan
- Creation of outreach material for 2nd Street’s target population
- Creation of material to increase public awareness
- A portion of operating expenses to supplement the funding provided by the ARPA grant, foundation support and private philanthropy
Funding must be expended between January 1 and June 30, 2023.
“We’re so grateful to receive CERP funding, which will help us reach our goals of adding at least 50 new, unduplicated clients in the six months of the grant and increasing the number of programs, events and services we offer,” said Executive Director Jason Cuyler. “We aim to establish new partnerships with local agencies offering services relevant to our target population and increase the level of engagement and coordinated programming with our partners.”
This is the second CERP grant for the 2nd Street program, following an FY2022 grant in the amount of $240,300. That grant, secured by Berkshire Community College on 2nd Street’s behalf as 2nd Street had not yet been formally organized, allowed 2nd Street to furnish its space; develop and expand community relationships; create its brand; secure a plan for fiscal management, governance and sustainability of its programs; and start welcoming clients.
“We thank the Baker-Polito administration and Secretary Kennealy for two consecutive years of funding for 2nd Street,” added Cuyler. “Their support, along with the support of Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer through the ARPA program, have been essential in getting 2nd Street up and running.”
“Community-based organizations know the needs of their neighbors best, and this funding helps those organizations better empower individuals through access to jobs, small business assistance and other forms of support,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to have now awarded over $37 million to advance economic opportunity through the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program in partnership with the Legislature.”
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 www.2nd-street.org.