Start Our Success (SOS) Program
WCAC's Start Our Success program, contracted by the City of Worcester and funded through the state Community Safety Initiative, collaborates with the Worcester Police Department's Gang Unit. Under the SOS Program, the WPD will meet one-on-one with approximately 20-40 appropriate young adults, high risk probationers, and soon-to-be released Worcester offenders ages 17-24 to determine if they are appropriate for the program. Through referrals by the WPD Gang Unit, the WCAC will enroll offenders and provide them with GED preparation, life skills workshops, internships, computer classes, English as a second language courses, work skills, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities.
A WCAC Case Manager/Job Developer will review the entry criteria with the WPD Gang Unit and participant to confirm the interests and goals for the participants. WCAC receives referrals through the Criminal Justice Team, and an assessment will be conducted on the individual's education, work history, interests, and challenges (substance abuse, or mental health history). The Case Manager/Job Developer and participants will set goals and create a time table for achieving the following: GED preparation; financial literacy, housing, conflict resolution (mediation), improving family and peer relationships; Reconnecting Youth programs; computer education, English as a second Language; internships in local companies and organizations; work skills classes; and employment paid through the employer. WCAC will also refer participants to specialized vocational training and substance abuse/mental health counseling services that are not provided by WCAC.
The Case Manager/Job Developer will meet as necessary with each participant to track progress and solve problems. Staff will also meet with internships and work supervisors, and others involved with participants.
For More Information Contact
Todd Smith, Case Manager/Job Developer
Phone: (508) 754-1176 x134