INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities and industries

 



 

Hassan LatifHassan A. Latif is the Executive Director of Second Chance Center, Inc. Follow them on Facebook and learn more at www.scccolorado.org.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
Help formerly incarcerated persons transition to lives of success and fulfillment.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Successful reentry is a matter of community health. The SCC team is dedicated to assisting this population, particularly since half of our staff are “Criminal Justice Insiders” who understand the challenges of transitioning after incarceration.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
SCC participants have had a recidivism rate of under 11% over the last three years. The Colorado state average is 49.6% and 39% nationally. SCC is proud of the highest employment placement, job retention and credential attainment rates of any reentry agency in Colorado. Likewise, we see an increasing number of clients successfully completing parole…many for the first time in repeated previous attempts.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Sean Ahshee Taylor (Deputy Director), Adam Abdullah (Mentoring Coordinator), Dana Jenkins (Operations Manager) and myself (Hassan Latif) have 95 years of cumulative incarceration time. We truly believe the only reason we were blessed to return to the community was to do exactly what we are doing…serving the community by assisting our folks with transitioning successfully.

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
We would like to address the critical need for affordable supportive housing in some meaningful way. Likewise, SCC would like to be a model for reentry agencies nationwide, in reshaping the approach to reentry and criminal justice reform.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Grant funding does not meet the needs of those we serve, particularly with many returning citizens falling outside of the specific guidelines of grant requirements. Community support has continued to grow over the last four years and we are grateful. However, we still have gaps we struggle to fill. Additionally, SCC remains more than 75% grant dependent and this is a number we would like to bring down considerable through other fundraising efforts.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Affordable housing for our clients and the increasing need for support, treatment and assistance, for many being released with severe and persistent mental health issues and substance use disorders, which fall outside our capacity to adequately meet on our own.

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Incorporate those you serve in formatting the direction of your organization. SCC strives to avoid the role of “Provider” where we are the givers and our clients the recipients. People need to feel valued and worthwhile in order to be their better selves; this is fostered by true respect for them as human beings, equals and partners by way of real inclusion.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Visit www.scccolorado.org for ways to make monetary or other donations (of time, skills or other human resources).

 


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