Belmont Cragin Client Services
Safer Foundation's mission is to reduce recidivism by supporting, through a full spectrum of services, the efforts of people with criminal records to become employed, law-abiding members of the community.
History: Safer Foundation, an Illinois not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, began providing employment, educational, and supportive services for individuals with criminal records in 1972. With headquarters in Chicago, Safer Foundation’s staff of nearly 350 assists clients in 20 facilities throughout Illinois and eastern Iowa.
Orientation and Intake: When clients first enter Safer’s program, they go through a 3-hour orientation and intake session. In a group session, clients are reminded that while Safer is there to help them in any way it can, the clients themselves are responsible for putting in the time and effort necessary to get their lives back on track. The relationship manifests itself as a partnership instead of a handout. Also during the orientation, clients complete a pair of assessments (one on the computer, the other on paper) that help identify barriers to employment (financial, emotional, physical, training education, etc.) and potential skills or interest that could direct the job searching process. To address the long-term goal of steady employment, clients need to make sure that they’re not taking just any, job but one that fits their skills and experience so they can hold onto it and develop their work history.
Supportive Services: During the initial orientation and intake Safer screens all clients for potential barriers to employment. These barriers could include court mandated substance abuse, counseling, anger management, or other mental health assessment. Clients that arrive at Safer with these mandates are directed to our supportive service process, where they pass the required assessments before passing onto our Retention process to continue the job-readiness process.
With the help of the Belmont Cragin (BC) staff, the client discusses short-and long-term goals and discuss a strategy that includes locating agencies close to the client’s home that can provide services (drug abuse counseling, anger management, etc.) at little or no cost. When clients have completed their mandates, they can continue with Safer’s job readiness services.
Retention Services: Following orientation and intake, those clients who don’t have mandates continue to Retention Services. Meetings with BC staff help clients confront the task of obtaining and maintaining employment upon reentry. BC staff uses the assessments completed during orientation to determine a course of action best suited to the client’s particular skill and interest. The majority of clients are referred to a job-readiness training program, which consists of instructions on how to fill out applications. Develop a resume, and prepare for an interview.
While the client works with the Retention Specialist on job readiness, Safer Section Managers are busy cultivating the job market. By assisting with bonding forms, employee screening, and drug testing, the Section Manager actively recruit potential employers that are willing to hire individuals with criminal records. Once client is hired, follow up services are conducted to gauge status of the transition and offer support when needed.
Financial Opportunity Center: The Safer Foundation Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) assists Chicago residents with criminal records and their families in achieving economic stability and growing personal assets. Our FOC offers financial education classes, educates clients in sound financial principles, and assists them in the process of overcoming their financial debt.
Safer Offers Clients
- Access to a unified sales force designed to help find jobs
- Services of staffing company that offers job exclusively for Safer clients
- Comprehensive computer system that can help match job experience and interest with available positions
- Fully equipped resource room with trainers available everyday to help develop computer skills and assist with job search
- Supportive staff willing to listen to concerns and provide aid and encouragement during the reentry process
- Community oriented services in the northwest side community Areas of Chicago
- One-on-One services
- Bilingual staff
- Other services provided include bus cards for first week of work if needed
- Materials translated and presented in Spanish
- Job Readiness Training provided onsite by a Spanish speaking staff member
- Resource room for self-directed job search
- Watch and Listen
- Reentry Resources
- Public Policy
- Success Stories
- Follow Us