MINNEAPOLIS — "I came here in 2003 looking for employment, I had just gotten married a couple months before," said Quinten Osgood, senior community outreach coordinator for Twin Cities Rise.
For Quinten Osgood, it's been 20 years of "paying it forward" at the organization.
"I had a criminal background and it was hard for me to get a job," said Osgood.
The organization has worked with thousands of people.
"Twin Cities Rise is this jewel in the heart of Minneapolis," said Emma Corrie, president and CEO of Twin Cities Rise. "We are focused on participants who sometimes might be turned away by other organizations, we focus on those with the deepest of barriers, the toughest of barriers, whether that is incarceration, chronic unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse."
And now, the organization was awarded $250,000.
One of 13 across the state awarded funds totaling up to $3 million by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Many of the organizations provide career counseling, and job training skills to Minnesota residents who have not worked for at least 15 weeks in the past year and are within six months of release from a State of Minnesota correctional facility or jail.
"Our focus is on breaking down the barriers," said Corrie. "To someone it might be to become sober, for another it might be to become a better parent, for someone it might be to make the bills."
DEED issued a request for proposals for the Pilot Re-Entry Competitive Grant Program in October.
"At the heart of this grant is a pilot process," said Corrie. "Find a way to be able to bring folks that are coming out of tough situations back into the workforce."
Twin Cities Rise is focused on individual development and empowerment.
"In order for folks to not reoffend is to get people back into jobs," she said. "These grants will allow partners and us as Twin Cities Rise to work with probation officers, DOC, the US Probation Office and see how we can work with candidates before they come out."
The group hopes to show when one door closes, another one opens. "I remember yesterday I talked to a young lady, she had an extensive background and I just encouraged and let her know, if I can do this, you can do it too," said Osgood.
"Saying to our participants I've been there and I'm going to walk this journey with you," she said. "No one can do it for you, we do it together, what Twin Cities Rise does is never give up."
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota was awarded funds. They issued the following statement:
"This week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota and 12 other organizations funding to provide training and employment services to more than 650 people coming home from MN correctional facilities. Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s Family Stability Director Andrew Freeberg was at the Capitol today advocating with the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition and said, “We are excited for this opportunity to expand our Reentry program to rapidly connect people exiting incarceration with resources to help stabilize their lives, connect to jobs, trainings and careers.”
The following organizations were awarded funds:
AccessAbility, Inc. - $275,000
Anoka County Job Training Center - $275,000
Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. - $200,000
EMERGE Community Development - $300,000
Global Fatherhood Foundation - $174,000
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota - $300,000
Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership - $77,000
Minneapolis Community and Technical College - $200,000
Red Lake Nation - Oshkiimaajitahdah - $174,000
Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc. - $300,000
Soar Career Solutions - $175,000
Twin Cities Rise (TCR) - $250,000
Workforce Development, Inc. - $300,000
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