January 18, 2024 
The Berkshire Eagle 

2nd Street Second Chances has received a Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Program grant of $300,000 for 2024.

The grant money from the commonwealth’s Executive Office of Economic Development 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, according to 2nd Street President Mark Gold.

Community resource navigators connect with formerly incarcerated peole 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. Assuming 2nd Street meets the criteria of the grant, the state may offer grant renewals for 2025 and 2026, Gold said.

The commonwealth’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, the program saw its most competitive grant funding round yet, with 140 applications received.