Jobs provide a much needed sense of purpose and add stability and structure to our lives. Employment is part of any worker’s identity, and every worker deserves to be proud of his or her contributions to society. In difficult economic times, it is heartbreaking to see the effects of unemployment on people’s lives – financially, emotionally, and physically. Even in better economic times, these problems disproportionately impact vulnerable populations for whom a lack of opportunity is commonplace.
Creating job opportunities for disenfranchised populations in need of a second chance is an essential part of Spring Back’s mission. Our first center in Nashville employs formerly incarcerated men. This group faces huge barriers to re-entering society successfully, making it nearly impossible to secure work and achieve financial independence. The threat of recidivism looms large when these men fail to find work. By specifically creating job opportunities for this population, Spring Back Nashville becomes a stepping stone to a new life for its employees. Similarly, our other Spring Back locations employ other groups in need of second chances, from recovering drug addicts to homeless veterans. Job opportunities created intentionally for these groups help to keep these members of society from falling through the economy’s ever-widening cracks.
Spring Back employment is meant to be transformative and transitional. Employees gain not only the immediate benefits of a stable job but also the ability to build a strong work record, build team relationships, and engage with the organization’s environmental mission. Our greatest successes are special moments when employees are able to reclaim their lives by reconnecting with family, securing their own place to live, or even advancing to new opportunities beyond Spring Back.