Once you visit the new home of Second Chance, one of the area’s best architectural salvage sources, it becomes apparent why its recent move took several months to accomplish—even if it was literally just around the corner. Starting in October of 2011, it successfully relocated the contents of its five warehouses (equaling 160,000 square feet, or the equivalent of 80 houses) on Warner Street to a new space on Ridgely Street (200,000 square feet). The new location has opened the doors for expansion and opportunity.
“There is a comforting feeling of permanence—helping to create one family under one roof, which was something missing when we were renting and occupying separate buildings,” says president and CEO Mark Foster. “We now have the space and resources to develop more of a training facility.”
The larger space has provided an open retail floor plan (organized by departments) in addition to larger offices and training facilities. Second Chance not only provides homeowners, architects, artists, and contractors with unique historic found objects salvaged from the old buildings and homes that Second Chance deconstructs, but also serves the community through job training. Starting with only four employees in 2003, the nonprofit now employs more than 100 people.
“The workforce segment of our vision helps inner-city, displaced, or unemployed residents by giving them a second set of fully-developed skills through a 12-18 month training program,” says Foster. Now he’s looking to expand outside of Baltimore, using the same model and concept. “People have seen the impact the organization has had on Baltimore City and we have been approached to expand into similar urban markets. Don’t be surprised to see us in Philly soon.”