MODlife #8: Opportunities for justice-involved young adults
A Journey To Stability And Economic Mobility
MOD has been serving the justice-involved community since 2008, focusing on their enormous potential and giving them a fair chance at employment and career advancement. It’s one of the many ways MOD works to make a positive social impact and contribute to a world that works for an includes everyone.
Without steady employment and consistent support in the first three years after re-entering society, 52% of young adults will be reincarcerated. This sobering reality is why MOD is partnering with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s HOPES program – a unique collaboration between employers, state restaurant associations, community-based support organizations and departments of corrections.
Working together holistically, we can each play a key role in supporting second chance individuals as they transition back into the workforce, and continue on a journey towards stability and economic mobility.
Why Hopes Is More Than A Job
The HOPES program is so much more than just an opportunity for employment. It focuses on work-readiness and industry-specific skills; placement, retention, and advancement; and reducing recidivism by providing:
- Individual Case Management
- Servsafe Educational Support & Certificate
- Legal Services/Diversion/Expungement
- Health Services
- Mental Health Counseling
- Educational Support to complete high school degree
- Temporary Housing Assistance
- Transportation Assistance
- Substance Abuse Counseling
HOPES leverages the NRAEF’s Restaurant Ready training framework with individuals at participating correctional facilities as well as after release and during parole. The Restaurant Ready program helps ensure a smooth transition and path within MOD and eliminate any barriers to success.
Our Hope For Hopes
The MOD + HOPES collaboration will launch this spring in the Chicago area and Virginia, with more regions to follow. To others, this approach might seem like a risk. But we recognized back at store #2 that many who were justice-involved simply needed a fresh start and shared in our desire to be of service and to give back.
As we work to deepen our impact, we hope our collaboration with NRAEF and our continued focus on opportunity employment will inspire other like-minded companies to take a similar approach.