PDT Staff Writer
On Thursday, the Scioto County Commissioners approved a one-year renewed lease on the Second Chance Center.
“As a part of our original lease arrangement, we could ask for it to be renewed, under the same arrangement we had last time,” said Ed Hughes, executive director of The Counseling Center.
Hughes said the program has seen a number of successes since its inception in 2011.
“We have a very high completion rate, nearly 70 percent. Of those who have completed the program, nearly every one is becoming employed because that’s a part of the program.”
The center opened through a partnership with the Commissioners.
“The client population we are working with would be in jail or on their way to jail. The number of days we have saved in terms of jail time is extremely high. You take 40 or 50 people that we were able to keep out of jail for a month or three months. That accounts for a significant savings for the county,” Hughes said.
He said The Counseling Center is in the process of doing some renovations on the center.
“We are taking an office area that we do not need to use as an office and increasing the number of beds at the facility. We will be going from 28 beds to 35, with the potential at some point of going to 40 beds,” Hughes said.
He said the vocational aspect of the program has become very popular among the center’s clients.
“A centerpiece of that vocational program is teaching people how to be able to work within the restaurant industry,” Hughes said.
In 2011, The Counseling Center received funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
That funding allowed for a commercial kitchen to be installed within the Second Chance Center.
“We can bring clients there to receive that training. They’ve started doing meal preparation. We are looking for that to expand because it has become so popular,” Hughes explained.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.