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Reentry Social Enterprise Program Kick Off

 The County of Santa Clara Reentry Resource Center works with REDF and community-based organizations to develop businesses that employ individuals impacted by the justice system


The County of Santa Clara Office of Diversion and Reentry Services (DRS) and national venture philanthropy Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) will launch an innovative program to assist individuals involved in the justice system. The Santa Clara County Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (RISE) will create new and scale existing employment social enterprises (ESEs). ESEs are businesses that provide jobs, training, and support to people breaking through employment barriers, such as a history of incarceration.

This contract with REDF is part of a pilot project that will eventually include a small business incubator and a research firm to evaluate the program. REDF and DRS will select one to three organizations to receive intensive implementation support, grant funding, and introduction to other funding sources to launch new employment social enterprises that will create job opportunities and offer wrap-around services for Santa Clara County citizens impacted by the justice system.

During the event, REDF will share its mini documentary “Igniting the Flame,” about investing in individuals and helping them grow their talents through employment social enterprise. Guests will also hear from a panel of experts in social enterprise and local officials who will talk about the creation of economies that benefit all community members. Community-based organizations will then receive information on how their organizations can become involved in this new program. Ada’s Café (a local ESE) will provide light refreshments at the start of the event.



Supervisor Otto Lee, Vice President, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, District 3

Supervisor Cindy Chavez, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, District 2

Javier Aguirre, Director, County of Santa Clara Office of Diversion and Reentry Services

Michael Fox, CEO, Goodwill of Silicon Valley

Sarah Glenn-Leistikow, Deputy Executive Director, California - Center for Employment  

Maria Kim, President/CEO, REDF



Jan. 26, 2023
Program 10 a.m. – 12p.m.


Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium
70 W. Hedding St.
San José, CA  95110


Of the 4,406 total clients who registered at one of the two Reentry Resource Centers in San José and Gilroy between September of 2021 and September of 2022, 57 percent were unemployed and actively looking for work. The Reentry Resource Centers and their partners can help clients with healthcare, mental health, education, family reunification, job readiness and so much more. But obtaining employment with a criminal record is exceedingly difficult, and if these individuals are unable to get jobs in their communities, they often end up back in jail or prison. Statistics show that people who have spent time in prison suffer considerable economic repercussions, even after they have served their sentence. Their annual earnings are reduced by an average of 52 percent, according to a 2020 report by the Brennan Center for Justice. DRS and REDF, in partnership with one or more local community-based organizations, plan to create businesses that give people struggling to support themselves a chance to grow their talents, participate in the workforce, and help expand employment opportunities for others.

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The County of Santa Clara Reentry Resource Center (RRC) opened in San José in 2012 and expanded to a second location in Gilroy in 2015. The Centers strive to build safer communities by providing resources to formerly incarcerated individuals to help them heal and reintegrate back into the community. The RRCs collaborate with community-based entities and State and County Departments such as the Sheriff’s Office, Behavioral Health Services Department, Social Services Agency, Adult Probation, Office of the Public Defender, Valley Homeless Healthcare Program, Office of Supportive Housing, Office of Diversion and Reentry Services, Pretrial Services, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and faith-based community partners. Representatives of these organizations and departments reside in one building working collaboratively to provide resources and services to clients.


REDF is a national venture philanthropy that invests exclusively in employment social enterprises (ESEs). Since 1997, REDF has invested in more than 238 ESEs in 33 states and the District of Columbia, including businesses across Santa Clara County like Goodwill of Silicon Valley. REDF has helped 84,000 people secure jobs. The revenue generated is reinvested in the business of helping more people obtain employment.


The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

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Media Contacts: María Leticia Gómez, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, [email protected], (408) 299-5119; Lynn Madden, Office of Diversion and Reentry Services, (408) 535-4277

Posted: January 23, 2023