Leo and Jeanette believe the best way to reduce poverty and restore dignity to marginalized people is to give them quality training to improve their skills so they can re-enter the labor market.
Ron (centre photo) came to us with very little hope of ever finding work. Today, Ron will tell you “thanks to Leo and Jeanette” he has a full-time job and is no longer a recipient of social assistance.
Let’s become the change we want for our community
and give someone a second chance
is to offer employment opportunities to marginalized people and bring positive change in their lives.
is to provide our trainees basic employability and coping skills that will increase their chances of getting and keeping a decent job.
Our Modest Beginnings
Léo Johnson and his wife Jeannette created Second Chance Workshop Inc. The vision arose from a dream Leo had while working at the House of Nazareth. There, homeless people were fed and housed but for Leo and Jeannette, that was not enough. Being compassionate, they knew that sending homeless people out on the street with nothing to do would not restore their dignity. In February 2013, a used furniture and appliance store “Enviro Plus” opened their door.
- Retail used furniture store opened in February 2013 on Halifax St. Moncton with 2000 sq. ft. floor space
- First job re-entry program begins in September 2013 with four male participants
- A 6-ton cube van was purchased
- Floor space was increased to 4000 sq. ft.
- Equipment required for the workshops was purchased
- Two additional men’s job re-entry programs were offered
- A pilot project for women’s job reinsertion was introduced
- A second expansion of floor space was increased to 6000 sq. ft.
- Expansion to 6,000 square feet in February
- First Pick-up & delivery employee hired in September
- Meeting with building owner of property on Baig Boulevard in October
- 5-year lease signed in December with option to buy
- Move to 315 Baig in January
- New training focus aimed mainly on job readiness
- Split programs in two components: Evaluation and workability program
- Sponsored the only Saint-Vincent de Paul Society Conference in New-Brunswick
- Launch a “Buy a square foot” fundraising campaign in February
- New evaluation program begins in April
- New skill development program to improve job readiness for trainees
- By august, “Buy a square foot” campaign raised $ 300,000, a milestone
- Purchase of building on Baig Boulevard in September
- Discussion of the merits of adding Mental Health to the program
- In May, the 5-year Anniversary Celebration gathered over 300 people
- Hired a Retail Store Manager and a Warehouse Supervisor
- A partnership was concluded with ECO360 for Mobil Depot free pickup
- Hired a Cleaning and Repair supervisor
- Improved cleaning and scheduling process
- Purchased additional steam-cleaning equipment
- Seriously considering adding Mental Health component to our programs
- In August, hired a Social Development worker as our work/skills mentor
- Renovated a classroom to accommodate 20 people (After COVID)
- Approach CCNB for possible partnership for in-class session
- Received over $ 90,000 from Canadian Foundations to enhance job readiness program