The Marion County Reentry Initiative will be holding a no-cost Second Chance Breakfast on Oct. 27 at 7 a.m. at the Keizer Community Center, and the public is invited to attend.
The event, usually scheduled once per year, raises funds for individuals who have fulfilled their debt to society and are re-entering normal life after a period of incarceration. According to Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron, who spoke to City Council on Sept. 6, each breakfast typically raises about $20,000 to $30,000. This is the second breakfast held in Keizer this year, after a two-year pause due to COVID.
Cameron said many of the basic needs for re-entry, such as housing or employment, are handled through other programs, while the Second Chance Breakfast is focused on smaller, short-term needs.
“If they need glasses or a driver’s license, for example, the money raised during the breakfasts goes toward helping them get those items that they need,” he said.
Cameron appeared before the council on Sept. 6 in order to request the city waive the fee for holding the breakfast at the Community Center, and said that in return MCRI would make the City of Keizer the presenting sponsor for the October breakfast.
Cameron said this program and others like it are having an impact in Marion County. He said the county has cut recidivism nearly in half since the program started.
“We started the the reentry initiative in 2005 and we were at 40 percent recidivism,” he said. “Now we’re in the 20s, which means peoples lives have been changed.”