CHATTANOOGA, TN — A series of public funding cuts have cost our mission of second chances $75,000 and several subsidized positions – making it impossible to continue the post-prison employment program we have operated in Chattanooga for fifteen years. In better economic times, we might have absorbed the loss and continued this important public safety initiative which has saved tax-payers more than $61 million. Unfortunately, the past three years have been extraordinarily challenging and the charitable funds we rely on have run thin.
We will carry on with Stephen’s Table and its large network of church-based committees to support prisoners and their families; however, we must suspend our work-readiness training class, supportive job search group and alternative staffing venture until we have recovered the funding needed to responsibly run them.
We realize that the absence of our employment program will create a dangerous gap in social services, leaving many with no opportunities standing between them and a life of crime. Our hope is that we can close this gap quickly – with your help! – and open our doors again to the roughly 700 prisoners who come back to Chattanooga every year in need of a job.
Please support our Second Chance Campaign to rebuild the base of support needed to restore employment services at CEi. The goal is to raise $100,000 in sponsorships, small recurring monthly contributions from individual supporters and large gifts from new major donors.
What you give is not as important as whether you give. This campaign’s success relies totally on numbers. The more supporters we enlist, the stronger our appeal will be for new major donors, corporate partners and grants. So please consider making a donation. And if you are inspired to do more, let us know.