BINGHAMTON, NY – An organization dedicated to giving people a second chance is celebrating the opening of its first apartment building.
Second Chance Housing has been active for three years, and opened its first residence three months ago.
NewsChannel 34’s James Atherlay introduces us to three men receiving a fresh start while recovering from drug addiction.
Second Chance Housing is helping three men get back on their feet here in this Binghamton home near the Koffman Incubator.
All three are battling substance abuse, and are thankful to receive the help they now have.
Southern Tier Second Chance Housing Director and former City Councilwoman Dani Cronce says the stigma against recovering addicts must disappear.
Southern Tier SCH Director Dani Cronce says, “We all have to help those who are in a vulnerable position. I believe it’s everyone’s duty to help those we can, and give a hand up instead of a hand out.”
These men were all looking for help at one point.
Auto Mechanic Drew Marcellus says he’s thankful that he found not only a place to live, but also a job.
Auto Mechanic Drew Marcellus says “It’s felt great, you know? It puts me back in the workplace, and it makes me feel human again.”
David, who asked not to be shown on camera, and didn’t wish to reveal his last name, says he’s become friends with the other two men, making this process easier than he thought it would be.
David says, “These people have put me in a safe environment. I live here with other people that are in recovery. It’s quiet. We respect each other.”
Tiara Bonner is another man working his way back from addiction to drugs and alcohol.
The carpenter says he’s thankful for the program.
Carpenter Tiara Bonner says, “I just appreciate the chance for a second chance at life. Drugs and alcohol takes a lot from us, and a lot of times we’re not, It’s a struggle to get back into the community.”
The three men currently share a cramped three bedroom apartment on Lisle Avenue, but Cronce has a larger vision.
NewsChannel 34 Reporter James Atherlay says, “Second Chance Housing’s full plan for the future is to be able to afford a full house. That way, they can afford to help more than three people at a time like they do now. Cronce says volunteers are welcome.”
Southern Tier SCH Director Dani Cronce says, “There’s a lot of people out there who need help. And there are a lot of people who are looking to help. If you’re interested in volunteering for our program, please call us.”
The men living here, and anyone the organization may help in the future, receive help in continuing education, getting jobs, and improving their lives in any way possible.