The Berkshire Eagle, December 19, 2022

Second Street Second Chances Inc., better known as 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.

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 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; and creation of material to increase public awareness.

The grant will also support a portion of operating expenses to supplement the funding provided by the ARPA grant, foundation support and private philanthropy.

Funding must be expended between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2023.

This is the second CERP grant for the 2nd Street program, following an fiscal year 2022 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.