San Diego Business Journal Scott H. Silverman, executive director and founder

Mission of organization: Creating opportunities for self-sufficiency by providing job-readiness training, employment placement, affordable housing, and life skills education for unemployed and homeless men, women and youths.

Telephone: (619) 234-8888.

Web site:

Founded: 1993.

Milestones: Celebrating 15 years of service and receiving $681,000 in federal appropriations funding for Prisoner Re-entry Program.

Annual income: $3 million.

Expense allocation: 69 percent for program services.

Corporate support: 60 percent of funds are from private donors , individuals, corporations, foundations.

Corporate supporters: Carleton Management Inc., CDC Small Business Finance, San Diego National Bank, Sempra Energy, SeaWorld Adventure Parks, Shell Energy North America, Union Bank of California, Wells Fargo & Co.

Board chair: Greg Markow.

Board members: Gordon Cooke, Mitch Dubick, Ray Ellis, Roi Ewell, Ray Gallagher, Elizabeth Gibson, Bennet Greenwald, Bill Hahn, Regina Malveaux, Greg Markow, Marianne Nelson, Regina Nolte-Ware, Cindy Olmstead, Diane Rosenberg, Jeff Silberman, Sarena Talbert.

Employees: 25.

Volunteers: 250.

Events: Fall Gala Celebrating 15 Years of Success on Sept. 6; Community Job and Resource Fair and Adopt-A-House on May 16-17; Monthly Strive graduations.


Recent challenges: Raising money to build a second classroom. Getting donated career clothing for participants at Second Chance , we need 2,700 suits a year.

Measures of success: 70 percent of Strive graduates find and keep employment. 70 percent of the Prisoner Re-entry Program graduates do not return to incarceration.

Smartest move: Purchasing affordable housing for those in need of safe alcohol and drug-free shelter; launching the Second Chance Prisoner Re-entry employment program in 2003.

Missed opportunity: Not purchasing additional alcohol and drug-free homes before the San Diego housing crisis.

Misconception: The stigma and discrimination sometimes associated with those individuals with homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration issues.


Personal path to nonprofit work: My own personal experience with substance abuse.

Toughest aspect: The battle every nonprofit leader faces daily, to glean resources and build sustainability.

Most surprising aspect: Watching people become successful when even they believed they couldn't.

Biggest pain: Not having the opportunity to spend more time with the people we serve.

Greatest pleasure: Watching a graduate return to our office to ring the bell and say, "I got a job."


Best recent moment: Being named one of the CNN Heroes.

Worst recent moment: Turning ex-inmates away because we do not have a second classroom.

Dream for another life: To have the knowledge that I have today in my hip pocket if I could start over.

Greatest inspiration: Seeing someone in prison get released, get a job, get his or her family back together, get off parole, buy a home, vote and pay taxes again.

Downtime: B movie and a cigar.

Causes: Eradicate homelessness, inspire others, motivate youth, reduce recidivism.

Most like to meet: Oprah Winfrey.

Nonprofit Profile is an occasional feature of the Business Journal. Send Nonprofit Profile candidates to Tom York at .