A generous new donation will help VACRO improve the support we offer job-seekers through our Second Chance Coffee social enterprise.

The $10,000 gift from an anonymous donor will support VACRO team members who offer hospitality skills for people completing community corrections orders and parole.

Key points:
  • We’re grateful for a $10,000 donation made recently to our Second Chance Coffee social enterprise
  • Second Chance Coffee is one of VACRO’s employment programs, offering employable skills to people in contact with the criminal justice system
  • Our most ambitious employment program, Second Chance Jobs, will launch in late 2020, supporting hundreds of prison leavers with jobs ‘at the gate’

At Second Chance Coffee, which is one of VACRO’s four employment programs, professional baristas work alongside volunteers referred by Corrections Victoria.

While fulfilling the requirements of their parole or community orders, volunteers learn employability skills and improve their confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

Transitioning from the criminal justice system to employment isn’t as simple as finding a vacancy for someone to fill. We know from decades of experience that people transitioning need to develop new skills, improve their confidence, and learn to believe in themselves—often for the first time.

Learn more about VACRO's employment programs.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Second Chance Coffee, this generous support will enable our participants to thrive once we reopen. The pandemic hasn't changed the challenges our participants face, and there will be an even greater need for more employment support as the economy reopens.

That's why you'll soon see VACRO launch a ground-breaking new expansion to our employment programs: Second Chance Jobs. 

While our programs Second Chance Coffee and Second Chance Cycles helps people on parole and community orders, Second Chance Jobs creates a pathway to employment for people in prison. It works with a person in the year before their release, pairing them with a supportive and willing employer, and walking alongside them for up to a year after release.

Learn more about Second Chance Jobs.

Second Chance Jobs recognises that just one in five Victorian prison leavers will secure employment on release, and that being unemployed for a year nearly halves a person’s chance of ever working again.

By connecting people leaving prison with a ‘job at the gate’, Second Chance Jobs provides people with immediate income, stable housing, and an environment in which prison leavers can build stronger relationships with their families and communities.

This approach addresses the roots of the interlinked problems that leave people at risk of coming into contact with the criminal justice system. And it’s likely to keep employed prison leavers out of prison.

Our employment programs offer the practical support and stability people need to get their lives on track. With support from every corner of our community—from government, to employers, to family donations—our employment programs can support participants to make a real difference in their own lives. 

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