Life presents both triumphs and adversity. Some face challenges alone cannot overcome. For these individuals, we offer the opportunity for a "Fresh Start." We provide meaningful work to enable people in desperate need to lift themselves up, choose life, and become productive and contributing members of society. In the process of "rebuilding" themselves, they are, in turn, building furniture.
Studies indicate for individuals challenged by addiction 30% of those who abuse drugs and alcohol are unemployed and often homeless, according to the CDC. Furthermore, one in six unemployed workers are addicts - twice the rate of those working full-time. Fresh Start exists to create a safe and supportive environment that encourages their road to independence in rejoining society.
Research indicates that unemployment after successful treatment for alcohol and substance abuse increases the likelihood of relapse. Fresh Start provides a safe environment where individuals committed to obtaining long-term employment with a living wage can train in the skill and art of building high quality furniture while respecting our environment. These individuals are not limited to those with substance abuse issues, for example immigrants and Syrian refugees benefit from our program also.
Fresh Start restores choice to our workers. Our intent is to establish a rolling advancement program for employees where they progress from craftsman-in-training, to craftsman and ultimately master craftsmen. At the average rate of $10.16 per hour in Connecticut, unskilled workers face placement in the lowest and fastest growing segment of our economy - the service economy. On average, we pay more than $3.50 more per hour. Thus helping aid in the reduction of state cost and welfare benefits.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).