Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that the city received a three-year, $10 million grant from the California Department of Transportation to extend its New Roads to Second Chances program that gives formerly incarcerated Angelenos employment opportunities in street maintenance and cleaning.
“Los Angeles is a place where everybody belongs, and we’ll keep working to create opportunities for anyone ready to give back to our communities,” Garcetti said. “No one needs a second chance more urgently than our formerly incarcerated sisters and brothers, and New Roads to Second Chances gives people a chance to rebuild their lives through the dignity of work.”
New Roads was launched in 2016 through a partnership between the mayor’s office, Caltrans and the nonprofit organization Chrysalis, with an initial $8.9 million state grant. The mayor’s office stated that more than 1,200 people have utilized New Roads in that time.
Each New Roads participant is eligible for up to 90 paid working days on a Caltrans crew. Since the program’s inception, New Roads teams have collected more than 600,000 bags of trash from roads and highways across Los Angeles County, the mayor’s office stated.
“We know that African Americans and other people of color are disproportionately represented in our criminal justice system,” City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said. “It’s important that these people have the support services and opportunities to thrive following incarceration. New Roads provides thousands of opportunities to men and women looking to establish themselves in the city and rejoin their communities.”
Participants work with case managers at Chrysalis to help them develop their resumes, participate in job-readiness classes, complete practice interviews and gives them access to computers, professional attire, scholarship funds and transportation assistance. While working for New Roads, participants have the opportunity to develop skills to help them transition to full-time employment and long-term self-sufficiency.