1700 Ridgely Street, Baltimore, MD 21230



Green Demolition = Great Discount!

Planning to tear down an existing home or structure in order to build a new one? Contact us to learn how choosing deconstruction creates wins for people, products, the planet and your pocketbook!

Discover and Celebrate our Impact in 2018!

In this report, you’ll encounter highlights of the measurable impact Second Chance had on people, materials and the environment during  2018, along with glimpses of our vision for the future. This provides an excellent opportunity to get to know who we are, what we do, and why!

SC's Workforce Development Restrains Recidivism! (Video)

The ability to gain marketable skills and employment opportunities is key to the success of those returning to society from incarceration. Check out this encouraging shot-on-location video about re-entry, recidivism and second chances!

(Produced by Jazmin Smith)

"Renewable Resources: Instead of Heading to the Landfill, Repurpose discarded building materials" in Home and Design

As a nonprofit committed to waste stream diversion and sustainable practices, we're grateful for the mention in Home and Design's 2019 "Idea Book" (p. 166). We accept almost any new or reusable item, with few exceptions like paint, used oil, mattresses or clothing. For most everything else, you can drop it off here at 1700 Ridgely Street in South Baltimore from 9 to 5 any day of the week or request a pick up. Tax receipts are available. Thanks for your part in supporting our environmentally friendly development of a "green collar" workforce!  (Here are several other mentions of Second Chance in this fine publication.)

Bouncing Back: Brandon's Second Chance Success

Discover the role Second Chance has played in the life of a remarkable man who once ran the Baltimore streets....

Powerful Video: 3 More Stories of Successful Second Chances!

Why does Second Chance do what we do? For a big part of the answer, please watch Jessica, Brandon and Victor share their inspirational journeys and the compelling role Second Chance has played in them....

Pete & Jess Interviewed about SC and the Wreckers Ball on "BMore Lifestyle" on MyTV 24 Baltimore

On October 10, 2018, Pete and Jess appeared on BMore Lifestyle to share what Second Chance is all about and invite people to the nonprofit's annual Wreckers Ball on Saturday! Get tickets and info on this exciting annual "signature event" here, and check out the informative interview below....

Mark & Pete Interviewed by Kirk McKewen on the Anthony Lavine Show on 98 Rock!

Several members of our leadership team enjoyed representing Second Chance as the featured nonprofit on 98 Rock's radio program headlined by the the Baltimore Ravens co-captain, Anthony Levine! Yummy food and drinks were served by Wayward Smokehouse in Federal Hill, and a guest appearance by up-and-coming Cornerback Tavon Young also amped up the energy. The supportive crowd brought smiles to our faces.


The highlight of the night for us was when Baltimore radio legend Kirk McEwen conducted a three minute interview of Mark Foster and Pete Theodore. Along with giving an overview of what Second Chance does, they were able to highlight the upcoming Wreckers Ball event. We are thankful for the broad exposure this opportunity afforded us!


Here is an audio recording of the full interview, followed by a video showing two minutes of it....


Rustik Live Edge Furniture to Showcase Wares at Second Chance

We're very excited to have Rustik Live Edge Furniture displaying their amazing products in the store for 3 weeks, starting this Saturday, August 18! You'll find meticulously crafted live edge river tables, dining tables, headboards, wedding tables, countertops, wall mounts and even skateboards! To get a taste of the unique inventory, check out their website or Instagram.


Community Comeback Spotlight by Baltimore City Public School Students (Video)

Check out the premiere of a student-produced segment where they shine a spotlight on someone who has made a comeback in the community in a positive way. In this first episode from 2015, you'll meet Saleem El'amin. He spent 42 years in prison and, at the time of filming, was working his first job at the Second Chance Warehouse since returning to society just over a year before. After working at Second Chance for a couple years, Saleem accepted a promotion with Living Classrooms.

Community Comeback Stories- Episode 1- Saleem El'amin from Baltimore City Public Schools on Vimeo.


“A Second Chance Marriage” by the staff of Bittersweet

"A Second Chance Marriage" by the staff of Bittersweet Monthly (2018)

Listen to Brandon and Jess share their powerful story of seizing their second chance....

To see more of this creative piece, of which this video is a small excerpt, please visit this link.

SC Mentioned on TLC's "Trading Spaces" Again!

SC Mentioned on TLC's Trading Spaces Again!

Image our delight to see our humble coffee table enjoy an elegant makeover from designer Laurie Smith on a recent episode of TLC's #TradingSpaces! See more here: https://buff.ly/2LL5dIP

Introducing "Second Chance Founder’s Repurposed, Reclaimed House" in Baltimore Fishbowl

July 13, 2018 - "Second Chance Founder’s Repurposed, Reclaimed House" by Cynthia McIntyre in Baltimore Fishbowl

Have you heard about our unique "concept house," the brainchild of Second Chance's founder, Mark Foster? We're pretty jazzed about it! Read what it's all about in this article from the Baltimore Fishbowl, and let us know what you think. You may even get a chance to tour it.... stay tuned!


Congressman John Sarbanes Visits Second Chance


On July 3rd, Second Chance was honored to be visited by Congressman John Sarbanes, the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 3rd congressional district since 2007. A constructive roundtable discussion ensued. We're grateful for the valuable perspective, humble attentiveness and meaningful encouragement he brought us in our ceaseless endeavor to retrain, reclaim and renew in Baltimore and beyond!

You can watch the Facebook Live video of our time together here: https://www.facebook.com/SecondChanceInc/videos/10155568346333309/


Second Chance Named Among Places Not to Miss in Baltimore!

It was fun to find ourselves listed among the top places nobody should miss when visiting in Baltimore! Click the picture to read the write-up, and be sure to visit "Baltimore's Biggest Treasure Chest" 9 to 5 any day of the week!

"Bel-Loc Diner sign gets new life at Second Chance shop" in the Baltimore Sun

May 9, 2018 - "Bel-Loc Diner sign gets new life at Second Chance shop" by Brittany Britto in The Baltimore Sun

We probably won't be serving 6-egg omelettes any time soon, but we cherish this storied diner sign that came down after serving as a Towson-area landmark for more than a half century. Special thanks to the Preservation Alliance of Baltimore County and the new Starbucks owners for their strategic roles in saving this piece of our regional past. We've pledged not to sell it and to even build a special platform to display it in its original, more angled configuration to induce the same feelings the diner sign originally evoked. Come enjoy a nod to local history 9 to 5 any day!

"Baltimore’s Warehouse of Many Chances" - BittersweetMonthly.com Creatively Captures the Essence of SC

May 7, 2018 - "Baltimore’s Warehouse of Many Chances" by the staff of Bittersweet Monthly

Check out this creative piece complete with compelling copy, images and video. It captures the essence of Second Chance like nothing before. The folks at Bittersweet Monthly are so talented, and it is evident here that they skillfully harnessed all those abilities to uniquely present a holistic view of Second Chance. The stories of changed lives are, by themselves, downright inspiring. Enjoy!


2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award – 5th Consecutive Year!

It's with great humility and appreciation that we announce earning this prestigious recognition for a fifth consecutive year! We don't do what we do for accolades, but it still feels good when so many people affirm the social, environmental, architectural and economic difference we’re making in Baltimore and beyond. Read the thoughtful reviews that helped make us one of the first qualifiers of 2018 for GreatNonprofits’ top honor (whose seal is the second most trusted rating seal, after the Better Business Bureau), or leave your own message to other potential donors, volunteers and customers: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/second-chance-inc-1

Spring into Summer with our Pop Up Extravaganza on June 16!

Because our inaugural Pop Up Fair was so successful and we had a waiting list of participants, Second Chance is doing it again! Our goal is to help local vendors, artists, makers and creators increase engagement with their customer base and ours, resulting in a shopping event that's fun and memorable for all. No ticket or charge is required to shop!

Visit our event page to learn more and see some of the vendors who'll be here.

Second Chance hires and retrains individuals with barriers to employment; reclaims reusable appliances, fixtures and furniture that would otherwise be discarded and overflow our landfills; and renews both people and things to useful life. A portion of the booth fees will help fund Second Chance’s workforce development program, so every purchase has a purpose!
CONFIRMED VENDORS - To get the word out, please share a promo post introducing yourself on this page and tag us on yours.

POTENTIAL VENDORS - We will offer both inside and outside space this time!

Outside Space: 10 Ft x 10 Ft - vendors responsible for supplying their own tables, chairs, tents
Inside Space: 6 Ft x 30 In tables - space will be approximately 6 Ft x 8 Ft and we will supply table and chairs.

Limited spaces available so sign up with the Eventbright link early!

~ You will be notified of your acceptance by May 19th.
~ Booth / table fees will be due by June 1st.
~ The event will be held rain or shine.
~ There's a $10 non-refundable registration fee.
~ There's a $30 inside table fee and $50 outside space fee due once you are accepted.

Note: Pop Up will open to the public at 10:00 a.m. and vendor set up begins at 9:00 a.m. The event closes at 4 p.m. and breakdown needs to be complete by 5 p.m. We will let you know where to load in once you are accepted.

If you have any questions or need more info, please contact Nancy at 410-385-1700 x 113 or nancy@secondchanceinc.org.

Towson's Iconic Bel-Loc Diner Sign to Be Revealed at SC!

April 6, 2018 - "Preservation Alliance of Baltimore County will pay homage to Bel-Loc Diner for fundraiser" in Baltimore Fishbowl by Brandon Weigel

If you're a local, chances are you've seen the iconic large, neon Bel-Loc Diner sign. Although one of the last remaining mid-20th century diners has recently been replaced by a Starbucks, the legendary sign lives on at Second Chance! You can see the sign first revealed during the Preservation Alliance of Baltimore County's annual fundraising event here on April 21st. For more information, check out the article in the Baltimore Fishbowl as well as the event page.

Save October 13 for the Wreckers Ball!

See our Wreckers Ball 2018 page on this website, and catch even more info on our Facebook event page!

"Drama Queen" - Baltimore Magazine's Amazing Spring Fashion Photo Shoot at SC!

March 2018 - "Drama Queen" in Baltimore Magazine's Style Section by Lauren Bell

There's a lot we could say about this remarkable photo shoot held here, but we think the commentary and images say it best by themselves!

(P.S. These are merely scanned images from the magazine. Pick up your own copy to enjoy the finest quality colors, textures and details!)



Second Chance Pop Up Shop Coming April 14!

Second Chance is hosting our first ever pop-up fair! Our goal is to help local vendors, artists, makers and creators increase engagement with their customer base and ours. A portion of the fees will help fund Second Chance’s workforce development program. No ticket or charge is required to shop!

We will have a dedicated market space in our retail warehouse for local vendors and craftspeople to display their wares. We hope you will join us for this special occasion!
~ You will be notified by March 16th of your acceptance. $30 booth fees will be due by April 1st.
~ The $10 registration fee is nonrefundable.
~ We will provide 6' by 30" minimum tables and chairs for vendors.
~ Set up begins at 8 AM and ends at 10 AM. The Pop Up begins at 10 AM.
~ Break-down begins at 4 PM and vendors must be out by 5 PM when the store closes.
If you have any questions or need information, please contact Nancy at 410-385-1700 x 113 or nancy@secondchanceinc.org.

Together, we’re making a real difference.... 2017 behind, 2018 ahead!

In this report, you’ll encounter highlights of the measurable impact Second Chance had on people, materials and the environment during the past year, along with glimpses of our vision for the future. This provides an excellent opportunity to get to know us!

"Sitting in a Baltimore nonprofit showroom: iconic 'Maryland' floor boards from Cole Field House" (Baltimore Sun)

Great piece on this iconic treasure in our inventory!

Also see the complimentary February 21, 2018 article in www.southbmore.com by Kevin Lynch.

Scenes from 2017: Second Chance in 117 Seconds!


Whether we partnered together on a deconstruction or a donation project, you rolled up your sleeves to volunteer in our warehouse, or you shopped in our retail store to make your home a more beautiful place to live, we want to extend a warm thank you for your business and friendship. In fact, nearly 95% of our work has resulted from your kind referrals and the continued trust of our repeat clients. For this, we are truly grateful.

In support of our mission, we are excited to report that in 2017 more than 149,000 labor hours were created through our job training and employment programs, and over 10,970,000 pounds of waste were diverted from the landfill. We will share more remarkable reasons to thank you for your support in our upcoming Impact Report.

Please keep Second Chance in mind for your 2018 projects and be sure to recommend us to your friends, family and clients. You can reach us at 410-385-1700 or admin@secondchanceinc.org. We'd love to hear from you!

In the meantime, here's wishing you and yours a most healthy and prosperous New Year!

Celebrate Service with Second Chance!

On #InternationalVolunteersDay (December 5th), we celebrate the wonderful impact volunteers make around the world. We are humbled that thousands have fueled positive change by serving at Second Chance through the years.

For example, Aaron is a local college student who came as part of his school’s outreach program. He ended up appreciating our mission so much that he now volunteers with us on his own. Along the way, he has become friends with one of our staff and the two men share a special friendship.

Second Chance salutes our many wonderful volunteers. Be it a party of 2 or 200, they always bring energy and leave tangible results. There would be fewer second chances for people, products and our planet without them. So on this day of recognition, we pause to say THANK YOU to each and every person who has pitched in!

If you or your group would like to get in the game one time or regularly, please reach out to us by email or this online form. There's something to do for nearly every skill, size and schedule!

Grateful for helping hands,

Your Second Chance Team

A Chance To Change Lives!

Life can be hard. Pitfalls and barriers abound. We do our best to dodge the dangers, but sometimes we just get overwhelmed. Whatever your life story, you most likely know what it's like to need some kind of a second chance.

In the short video below, you'll meet three such folks. Antonio, Jess and Will know what it's like to be down on their luck, to put it mildly. At the height of their desperation, they were introduced to Second Chance. While we'd be naive  to claim all the credit for their remarkable transformation, please take just 90 seconds to hear from them directly about how instrumental our programs have been in moving them from chaotic and hopeless lives to those of healthy, constructive ones.

On the heels of a busy Thanksgiving holiday, including the commercialism of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, this thing called "Giving Tuesday" comes around to provide an avenue to support community causes you care about. It is a day that has become increasingly important to nonprofits like ours. Whatever day you happen to be reading this, we hope you'll consider donating so that Antonio, Jess and Will - and the hundreds of others they represent - will continue to find a life-changing second chance!

Second Chance's Annual "Wreckers Ball" in The Baltimore Sun

We're grateful for the Baltimore Sun's exposure of our fantastic Wreckers Ball fundraiser event! Enjoy this "live event video" by Sloan Brown, along with her full-page piece in the Sunday edition (below). If you missed it, you'll want to be sure to come have a wrecking good time next year!

Indicate your interest on our event page to get notifications down the road.

NAIOP Maryland Developing Leaders Lend Hands to Second Chance

November 13, 2017 - "NAIOP Maryland Developing Leaders Lend Hands to Second Chance" in CityBizList (Baltimore) by Staff

Approximately thirty members of the NAIOP Maryland Developing Leaders group removed nails from lumber, moved around and arranged merchandise, sorted lumber and helped out where necessary at the non-profit Second Chance facility in Baltimore City last week. The effort was arranged as part of the Developing Leaders regular Community Service endeavors. A $2500 donation was also made to the organization on behalf of NAIOP Maryland.

“The presence of the NAIOP Maryland Developing Leaders is fantastic support for the organization, as we have so much to accomplish out there on a daily basis,” stated Mark Foster, Executive Director and Founder of Second Chance.

Second Chance is involved with workforce development and job training for the most disadvantaged residents of Baltimore City, including returning citizens and ex-offenders. “We strive to provide program participants with skills sets in retail, transportation and deconstructing buildings, as well as life skills including financial literacy,” Foster added. “Hopefully we can get them back on the path of sustainable employment.”

“It was a fantastic experience for the group,” explained Spencer Perry, Chair of the Developing Leaders Committee. “We thoroughly enjoyed working with the employees of Second Chance as well as interacting with the participants of the program. Everyone hadan upbeat attitude all day.”

Merritt Properties donated pizza at the event.

See the original article and more photos here.

"Baltimore's Second Chance, Inc. Creates Green Collar Jobs for the Community"

from Independent We Stand therine Seibt

This article, which gives an apt overview of our nonprofit, begins:

In Baltimore, unemployed workers, used housewares and the environment get a much-needed second chance. Local nonprofit Second Chance, Inc. works to train and hire the community's unemployed, putting many of them to work in so-called "green collar" jobs that benefit the environment and preserve the city's architectural heritage. It's a three-pronged mission to retrain, reclaim and renew the city's valuable resources. [Read the rest here.]

Original Cole Field House Flooring from UMD arrives!

WHAT?!? Guess who got the original end-floors from the University of Maryland College Park Cole Field House? WE DID!! Come check it out now on one of our huge walls.

From 1955-2015, the iconic red & white "Maryland" floor has upheld millions of feet -- athletes, performers, fans, students, politicians, comedians, graduates and more!

It's also fostered millions of memories....  Do you have a favorite memory, person or association with this legendary artifact? Feel free to share on our social media platforms.

(Yes, it's for sale... 150k for each complete side.)


New Art Installation in Our Lobby ☼ "Opportunity Doors" by Baltimore Artists

Through early November, when you enter our store you'll be greeted by bright artwork on reclaimed doors! This new art installation, called "Opportunity Doors," showcases the inspiration of three Baltimore artists (on Instagram: @jeffreykentart @nikiamkigler @chriswilsonbaltimore). Read their sign below for more info, and spend some time up close to appreciate the creativity & messages!


CBS's WJZ-13: "Second Chance, Inc. Provides Just That For Home Wares… And People"

October 11, 2017 | From BALTIMORE (WJZ) Everything and everyone deserves a second chance. That’s the philosophy behind a local non-profit.

Re-train, reclaim and renew. That’s the philosophy at Second Chance, Inc.

The warehouse on Ridgely Street, and is 250,000 feet of stuff — furniture, lamps, sconces, book cases, art work — much of it taken from homes around the country that are being demolished. The idea is simple. Second Chance reclaims it, you come buy it and find a way to reuse it.

“We’re just a toy store for the people who are going to have fun with the stuff we reclaim,” says Mark Foster, who started Second Chance in 2003.

It’s so successful that it raises 99 percent of the money it uses. But it’s most important mission isn’t stuff, it’s people.

Two hundred men and women work in the warehouse full time. Antonio Johnson, now a retail manager, was in and out of jail three times until he got his “second chance.”

“I came down with my application and the rest is history and this was in 2008,” he says.

He’s one of thousands over the past decade whose life has been turned around by their time at Second Chance.

This Saturday night, Second Chance is hosting its fundraiser, “The Wreckers Ball.” Dress code is construction chic.

Second Chance is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit SecondChanceInc.org.

98 Rock's Amelia Interviews SC's President

In this 15 minute interview by the esteemed DJ, Amelia, our own CEO, Mark Foster, provides insight into some aspects of Second Chance you may not know about. And, yes - it ROCKS!


Johns Hopkins President Visits SC with Volunteers!

Johns Hopkins volunteers pitch in for ninth annual President's Day of Service

Video: David Schmelick and Len Turner

Volunteers from Johns Hopkins University traveled to more than 35 sites across Baltimore on Saturday to lend a hand during the ninth annual President's Day of Service.

About 1,400 people registered in advance of the event, which is supported by the Hopkins Parents Fund.

Before the participants boarded buses to head to their volunteer sites, JHU President Ronald J. Daniels addressed volunteers at the O'Conner Rec Center. He spoke about the origin of the event, crediting his wife, faculty member Joanne Rosen, with coming up with the idea that would eventually grow to become the President's Day of Service.

He also said he hoped the day would inspire students to be more engaged in the community.

"We're motivated by a sense that we want to get outside of ourselves and to share the good fortune we have—the energy, the ideas, the passions, the optimism we have with others," Daniels said. "So, at one level, this is about altruism. I truly think that's a part of what drives us here."

Daniels and Rosen worked at several sites on Saturday, including Second Chance, a nonprofit that collects donations from home deconstruction while providing workforce development training to people in need; and A Book Thing, a Baltimore bookstore that is currently closed after a fire.

The President's Day of Service coincided this year with a charity bike race at the Homewood campus hosted by the 24 Foundation, with proceeds from that 24-hour event supporting cancer navigation and survivorship services.

Following their service, volunteers returned to campus for pizza and reflection, as well as discussion about how they can stay involved.

"I hope that in addition to being in Baltimore for Hopkins … you will, like us, discover that the trajectory is deeper and broader, and that the city of Baltimore feels far more like your home," Rosen said. "I hope you will treat this as the on-ramp to ways of being incredibly involved and engaged while you're here."




"Municipal Waste and the Benefits of Re-Use"

September 26, 2017 - "Municipal Waste and the Benefits of Re-Use" in Governing the States and Localities by Dr. Neil Seldman

What's going on in Baltimore shows how cities can profit both economically and socially from giving reusable materials a second life. In this piece written by the co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Second Chance is highlighted for our role in the high cost-benefit ratio found in reusing materials.

SC Deconstructs a Marble Mansion in Avalon, NJ

Dismantling a multi-million dollar marble mansion??  Sure, WE GOT THIS!!

The deconstruction of this massive marble homestead has been a great showcase of the strategic planning and tactical skills we've honed through 15+ years of "unbuilding" structures.

And, yes, we'll have LOTS of very nice marble for sale in the store soon! The Carrara marble siding will arrive shortly, followed by the exquisite interior marbles, while the huge columns shown in the picture are already on-site in front of the store.

To learn how to tun your teardown into a win for people, products, the planet and your pocketbook, drop us a line at https://buff.ly/2vjaiC9

See one of the articles about this project here and another here, as well as enjoy some more photos here:






2017 Best of Baltimore Award – “Best Store To Get Lost In!"

Although our influence extends the length of the East Coast, we truly love our city and are excited to be a Best of Baltimore winner once again! If you haven't been here (or not in a while), be sure to plan a trip to discover why Baltimore Magazine considers us the "Best Store to Get Lost In!" We promise not to lock you in after hours if you do indeed get lost!

Learn About Our Stormwater Management Initiative

During the past several months, Second Chance has undergone a comprehensive greening project to protect our local environment. You'll notice the changes as soon as you arrive.

By way of background, our rooftop and parking lot spans some 10 acres. Due to this extensive area of impervious surface, even light rains create an abundance of runoff water that floods our parking lot area and spills directly into the local waterways.

This excess runoff, also called “stormwater,” adds toxins and pollutants to local water sources.

Driven by our environmental priorities, Second Chance worked with state and local agencies to find ways to minimize the negative impact to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

A stormwater plan was implemented to incorporate “best greening practices.” This involved removing 7,800 sq. ft. of existing impervious surface and replacing it with green space. More indigenous landscaping will be installed during the fall planting season.

Of special interest is the implementation of innovative eco-strategies to direct, sequester and filter the stormwater using micro-bioretention, bioswales, and Filterra filtering products. We are proud that the water that eventually enters the Chesapeake Bay from our campus is now substantially purified!

Second Chance is grateful to have partnered with the following organizations, without whom this project would not have been possible.

Your support of Second Chance’s mission to retrain, reclaim and renew truly makes a difference to our environment and those within it. Stay tuned to hear about more innovative green initiatives on our campus in the days ahead!


2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award - 4th Consecutive Year!

We are grateful to all of you who helped Second Chance earn this prestigious recognition for a fourth consecutive year! We are humbled that so many people have affirmed the social, environmental, architectural and economic difference we’re making in Baltimore and beyond. Read the reviews that helped make us one of the first qualifiers of 2016 for GreatNonprofits’ top honor (whose seal is the second most trusted rating seal, after the Better Business Bureau), or leave your own message to other potential donors, volunteers and customers: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/second-chance-inc-1




Meet Our New Mural with a Message! (Narrative & Video)


by Pete Theodore, Communications Manager

If you drove down Bush Street by Second Chance a few weeks ago, all you would’ve seen were barren bricks, varying shades of fading paint, and the sporadic graffiti tag. Now, an inspiring message of hope welcomes those who drive or walk along this stretch of the Gwynns Falls Trail.

Utilizing a generous grant from the Baltimore Development Corporation, Second Chance partnered with the talented Shawn James of Mural Masters, Inc. to depict its mission in a new 180-foot mural. The successful outcome of that venture is now evident.

The panorama unfolds from right to left to align with Bush Street’s one way traffic. Immediately, the viewer is gripped by the stark – even haunting – depiction of a man confined to a jail cell or, metaphorically, imprisoned by some weighty life obstacle. He’s deep in thought, contemplating where he is and where he wants to be. He clearly needs a “second chance,” and if someone will give it to him, he’s ready to seize it.

Well, somebody did… Second Chance. In the next frame, the man eagerly rolls up the sleeves of his new work shirt to begin job training in the art of deconstruction. He grips the sledgehammer tightly as he shatters his previous prison bars, while also carefully dismantling a home in order to salvage all its reusable parts.

As the mural progresses, the trainee is joined by others on the same journey of personal development through vocational success. Together, they process materials that were once destined for the landfill but are now being made available for reuse. Yes, these easily overlooked and discarded items also get a “second chance” at new life.

Customers are shopping at the store in the next frame. Whether they know it, their purchases and product donations are what make the story possible.

Finally, our central figure uses his training to progress beyond Second Chance. His skills are employed in a new trade – construction. The lessons he’s learned serve him well as he proudly builds his first home. The hands that once held bars now grip tools. He who was built is now building. His satisfaction is apparent, and his family and community are grateful.

Faint reflections of the green leaf from Second Chance’s logo flow throughout the mural. It ties the pieces into a unifying story, ultimately climaxing in an enlarged 3-panel logo that reminds onlookers of Second Chance’s central mission – to Reclaim, Retrain and Renew.

Murals are a Baltimore hallmark. Art is a global language. Our hope is that by combining the two, this memorial depicts for years to come our commitment to social and environmental progress in Baltimore and beyond. Your support in that journey is not only essential, it’s deeply appreciated!






"SC Improves Campus with New Mural and Rainwater Filtration System"

May 24, 2017 - "Second Chance Improves Campus with New Mural and Rainwater Filtration System" in SouthBaltimore.com by Kevin Lynch

This piece will introduce the reader to a couple recent initiatives to be the best neighbor we can be to our community and environment!

"City’s Carver High Carpentry Students Learn on the Job at Second Chance"

May 5, 2017 - "City’s Carver High Carpentry Students Learn on the Job at Second Chance" in Baltimore Fishbowl by Laurel Peltier

"Since 1925, Baltimore City’s Carver Vocational-Technical High School has offered students a college prep high school education with a pathway to one of nine vocational careers. Today, led by teacher Greg McDevitt, Carver carpentry students are not only trade apprentices, but they also give back to Baltimore as volunteers. The students’ ongoing volunteer project at Second Chance caught our eye."

Read why here!

SC acknowledged for Support of the "McKean Miracle"

Baltimore's newest recreation space, called the “McKean Miracle,” brightens up a street once crowded with decaying homes in the same community hit hardest by rioting following the death of Freddie Gray. The park was designed and built by the community, under the direction of the Matthew Henson Community Development Corporation and community activist “Doc” Cheatham.

Through a partnership with Carver Vo-Tech High School, Second Chance donated all the tiles for students to make chess stations for the park and was recognized for their contribution to the “McKean Miracle." When you support us, you support positive change in the community in ways you may never see!


SC Staff Interviewed on MyTV (WUTB)

March 27, 2017 - Television Interview on MyTV

If you didn't catch it live on WUTB, here's your chance to watch Dana and Antonio interviewed about Second Chance on MyTV's "BMORE Lifestyle" show! We're grateful for every opportunity to share our nonprofit mission to retrain, reclaim and renew.


SC's Salvage Emporium Furnishes "Rooms With a Few" in Baltimore Magazine

July 2016 - "Rooms with a Few: Todd Marks and Nikki McGowan clear space for their blended family of nine" by Martha Thomas in Baltimore magazine

Here is a neat story about the sustainable transformation of living space in the city. We're glad our "salvage emporium" was such a great resource!  Nikki (from the article) called to arrange a donation to us and shared that at least 90% of their kitchen is now comprised of Second Chance materials.

Enjoy the full story here.




Featured in Wedding411!

Loving our feature in the 2017 Wedding 411 magazine!


See us on pages 132-135 and the entire issue here.


Also, checking out our Wedding board on Pinterest for lots of Reuse, Retro and Repurposing ideas for the special day!



Together, we're making a real difference!

In this report, you'll encounter highlights of the measurable impact Second Chance had on people, materials and the environment during the past year, along with glimpses of our vision for the future!


Deconstruct vs. Demolish in the Arlington Connection

January 3, 2017 - "Deconstruct vs. Demolish in Arlington: An Aging-in-Place Home" in The Arlington Connection by

Enjoy learning about deconstruction and its benefits from the Allard's experience with Second Chance's deconstruction services. The article will also introduce you to Arlington, Virginia's innovative "Green Home Choice Program."

Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Second Chance Cruise the Inner Harbor Together

December 15, 2016 - "Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Second Chance Cruise the Inner Harbor Together" in the Environmental section of Baltimore Fishbowl by Laurel Peltier

When the environmental reporter for Baltimore Fishbowl recounts an inspirational and educational outing hosted for us by the esteemed Chesapeake Bay Foundation, you can't help but feel humbled and honored. And when this reporter also includes in the article pictures of Second Chance's reclaimed products being repurposed in her very own "green home," you can't help but beam with joy! Together, we're all continuing to make a positive impact on our local environment and the people within it.....

Full Article Here


Second Chance Changing Lives in Baltimore Area

December 9, 2016 - "Second Chance Changing Lives in Baltimore Area" in The Baltimore Times by Stacy Brown

This new article in the The Baltimore Times article does a good job capturing the essence of Second Chance and our efforts to benefit of people, materials and the environment.



Talking Mission with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's President

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has become a meaningful partner to us as we link arms to protect and enhance our precious natural environment! We are grateful for their energetic inspiration, education, resources and encouragement. What CBF is doing for and through us is, ultimately, changing lives and communities - and the treasured waters around them - each and every day! This podcast conversation between CBF's Will Baker and SC's Pete Theodore will give you some insight in these matters.....


Photos by Rob Beach/CBF Staff and Pete Theodore/SC Staff

Our 11th Deconstruction Training Class Turns Their Tassels!

It never gets old... year after year, life after life. We still get chills watching people celebrate a significant milestone on their second chance journey toward wholeness. The electricity that fills a room when something important and exciting is happening was certainly present last week when we honored our 11th graduating class!

Cheered on by family, friends and representatives from our partner, the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, each participant received a certificate to commemorate their successful completion of our 20-week Deconstruction Training Program, which incorporates both classroom instruction and extensive field learning. They are steadily overcoming various barriers to employment by embracing work and life skills necessary for vocational success in the contemporary world.

While sparring the landfill and giving materials a second chance through deconstructing ("unbuilding") structures slated for demolition, they take advantage of their own second chance at a better life. Since we guarantee employment upon graduation, we've welcomed them on board as full employees and are excited for what lies ahead for them here and beyond.

Think of these folks the next time you purchase reclaimed lumber, update your kitchen cabinets or admire an old chandelier in our store. After all, it's quite possible that one of them salvaged it for a second chance just a few days earlier!



Giving A House A Second Chance

Fall 2016 - "Giving a House a Second Chance" by Barbara Guarnieri in Neighborhood News

Here's an informative write up about Second Chance from the Improvement Association for the Ruxton-Riderwood-Lake Roland Baltimore areas!


BOPA Grant Fuels "Art All Night - Baltimore" Event at Second Chance

bopa pic

We are thrilled to receive a grant for Art All Night, ! Our sincere thanks goes to the Mayor and leadership of Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts for their generous contribution. This gift is a genuine encouragement, and the event planning team pledges to use it all to stimulate and celebrate local creativity and community! You can find out more about this exciting 24-hour event at their website.



Second Chance Proudly Mentors Teens Via YouthWorks for 9th Year!

It's no secret that our vibrant Charm City periodically garners some "uncharming" press. For all its wonders, our city--like any other--has its share of warts and wrinkles. The youth of Baltimore are among those significantly impacted by the city's challenges, with some trying to merely survive at the epicenter of the tumult. These young men and women need opportunities to help them overcome a myriad of obstacles.

Standing in the gap are programs like YouthWorks, the nationally-recognized employment initiative of the Mayor's Office of Employment Development. This summer alone, more than 8,000 Baltimore residents ages 14-21 will gain invaluable (paid!) exposure to a variety of industries while learning what it takes to succeed in the workplace.

YW 2016

Second Chance is very proud to be serving for the 9th consecutive year as a work site for this innovative summer program! Almost 20 young men and women from within the city are currently completing five weeks of vocational (plus financial literacy) training under our tutelage.

The basic workforce readiness and career-specific skills are "better than playing video games" or "hanging outside," according to a young man who is participating in Youthworks for a third year. "We learn to communicate [and] work together to get our job done better," chime in his coworkers. As you continue to support Second Chance, you provide these Baltimore youth with benefits that extend far beyond the summer!

You'll see these trainees in action if you're shopping weekdays between 10a.m. and 3:30p.m. Maybe you can offer a smile, pat on the back or word of encouragement, too? These youth need and deserve all of our support on the journey toward becoming responsible, contributing and fulfilled adults.

Working with you to keep the "charm" in Charm City,


"Made in Baltimore" Furniture Showroom Opens at Second Chance!

Many of you know us well enough to know there always something going on at Second Chance! Whether it's a visit by a U.S. Senator, an award for workforce development excellence, the preservation of some historical treasures, or the large "Art All Night" event we're planning for October, it's never dull around here.

One new item of interest on the retail front is a sort of "pop up store" within our store. It's a Furniture Showroom called Made in Baltimore because, well, all the goods are made by local furniture makers!

Situated in 1,000 sq ft of space and sponsored by the Industrial Arts Collective, you can get to know the work of several area craftsmen and order one of their unique products or request something customized.

Second Chance is proud to support the local artisan community who are getting their hands dirty making beautiful, functional items, sometimes even out of reclaimed materials found in our store. We hope you'll explore the Showroom while it's here the next couple months. It's pretty cool stuff. And hey, why not check out some of our products or donate your own while you're at it?!

New Workforce Development Initiative for Opportunity Youth

Thanks to support from Associated Black Charities and the Baltimore Mayor's Office of Employment Development, at least twenty Baltimore youth will be introduced to the fields of deconstruction, retail, transportation and warehousing at Second Chance.

"Introduction to the Workforce" is a 12-week, full-time, paid internship. It includes classroom and hands-on training in job and life skills, as well as industry-recognized certifications in forklift operation and workplace safety.

Program participants are "Opportunity Youth" ages 18 - 24 who are not employed or enrolled in school.  Several members of our first cohort of interns came to us through a program for homeless youth or a halfway house for youthful offenders. When you support us, you support them!


We're "Tops on the List" of Revival House's Places to Shop!

February 14, 2016 - Revival House Shops: Second Chance, Inc.

From the blog:  "First up [of my favorite places to shop] is Second Chance.  This place is tops on my list!  I head here to find vintage building materials, fixtures, furniture, and even art that has been salvaged from old Baltimore homes.... Helping people and the environment while shopping for one-of-a-kind finds. That's a no-brainer for me!"

An Afternoon at Second Chance

February 18, 2016 - "Shop Here: An Afternoon at Second Chance in Baltimore, MD" by Brittany Goldwyn

This blogger--clearly no stranger to our nonprofit--does a remarkable written and visual job presenting the ins and outs of Second Chance in this interesting piece.


"From A Life Term To Life On The Outside: When Aging Felons Are Freed" by NPR

February 18, 2016 - Interview at Second Chance by Robert Siegel and Matt Ozug in the "Around the Nation" section of National Public Radio's broadcast

NPR interviewers note the positive role Second Chance has played in the lives of a few men released via the landmark 'Unger V. Maryland' ruling. To date, there has been no recitivism or violations of probation among these 130 former lifers. While we do not make the laws or rulings, we are here to offer a hand up to those willing to work for it. Listen to the broadcast or read the full transcript here.


U.S. Senator Ben Cardin Promotes Second Chance as a "National Model" on the Senate Floor

February 12, 2016 - "Second Chance, Inc.: A National Model" Released by the Office of Senator Benjamin Cardin

It's not every day that a U.S. Senator plugs your nonprofit work as a national model on the Senate floor in front of the President! We are grateful for Sen. Ben Cardin's support, which began in earnest when he led a roundtable at Second Chance to discuss how social enterprises could help address some of the myriad challenges faced in today's inner cities like Baltimore (read the press release here). View the video here.

Video & Article on Second Chance by Upworthy - Viewed by Well Over a Million People!

January 22, 2016 - "'We can change.' This nonprofit is giving them the second chance they needed and the skills to succeed for years to come." by Jess Blank (video) and Eric March (article) of Upworthy.  

"The work at Second Chance — salvaging old houses — might be the perfect metaphor for the ways the business changes its workers’ lives."

Read the wildly popular article and view the video (at the end of the article) describing the work of Second Chance here.


Impact Report - How We Made a Lasting Difference in 2015!

Since opening our doors in 2003, Second Chance, Inc. has pursued our mission to retrain and employ individuals with multiple barriers to employment; reclaim reusable appliances, furniture, fixtures and materials that would otherwise burden our landfills; and renew them – people and things – to useful life. We believe in giving people, materials and the environment a second chance. Thanks to YOU, Second Chance was able to set many mission-related records during 2015. And with your continued support, we anticipate making even more progress in offering people, materials and the environment meaningful second chances in the year ahead!

The wave of positive momentum we are riding into 2016 is built on the remarkable achievements of 2015 and the backing of Second Chance's donors, volunteers, shoppers, partners and friends. Please take a few moments to glance through the causes for celebration and acknowledgments of support highlighted below.

Grateful for your support,

Your Second Chance Team

View Full Report Here

Second Chance Launches New Website

Second Chance is proud to launch our new and improved website. The new site has an updated look, more features, a wider sampling of inventory and will display optimally on screens of all sizes. Thanks for your patience during this transition!

"Most businesses watch 1 bottom line. This one keeps an eye on 3. That's why people love 'em."

July 28, 2015 - Published by Upworthy; created by Maz Ali

It's rewarding when a socially positive organization with millions of fans takes notice of your efforts. Take a look at their focus on our innovative triple-bottom-line focus: People, Planet, Product!

Second Chance Graduates its Tenth Deconstruction Training Class

July 17, 2015 - "Second Chance Graduates its Tenth Deconstruction Training Class" Press Release from Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development

The press release issued by MOED, a long and vital partner of Second Chance, reads in part:
Second Chance utilizes the training program to deconstruct houses and other buildings and salvage the appliances, furniture, fixtures and materials for resale at its warehouse store in downtown Baltimore. Second Chance, a pioneer in deconstruction when it introduced its training program during a dynamic period in the development of “green” building standards and techniques, has grown its deconstruction crew from four to almost 50 people.

“A ‘green’ training program for those with employment challenges is a natural fit for us,” said Second Chance President and Founder Mark Foster. “We believe in giving materials and especially people a second chance.”

The 20-week Deconstruction Training Program incorporates both classroom learning and on-the-job experience. Participants are trained in deconstruction tools and techniques as well as the “soft skills” that help them to manage their professional and personal lives. They also receive certifications in safety protocols, including OSHA 10 (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration), a key credential for workers in the construction trades.

Paying a living wage is an essential element of the program. “The population we serve is unemployed. Offering them full-time, paid employment throughout the training program reduces the likelihood of recidivism; provides them with an employment history; and helps them to support themselves and their families. Additionally, they gain the life skills and work habits necessary to meet 21st century job readiness standards,” said Foster.

In addition to providing a portion of the funding, MOED identifies qualified candidates who could benefit from the program. The program targets city residents who face multiple barriers to employment, such as chronic unemployment or criminal records.

“Second Chance grads are overcoming challenges and orienting themselves on a path of responsible, productive citizenship,” said MOED Director Jason Perkins-Cohen. “I am proud of each of these graduates and pleased with our Second Chance partnership that results in people reaching new career goals.”


Firm Provides “Second Chance” to Residents

June 26, 2015 - "Firm Provides “Second Chance” to Residents" in The Baltimore Times by Stacy M. Brown

It was 12 years ago when Mark Foster started Second Chance Inc. with about four individuals.

Today, the founder, president and CEO of the nonprofit couldn’t be more proud as about 150 individuals are working to take apart buildings that would otherwise be demolished and dumped in a landfill.

Second Chance Inc. specializes in salvaging windows, appliances and above all, the lives of individuals who have faced employment barriers from incarceration.

“Really, it’s a second chance for people as well as a second chance for materials,” Foster said. “To be able to work those two together is to do great things for a community.”

Second Chance offers reclaimed materials to the public at a discount, helping fund job training and workforce development programs.

Read the full story here.

Sen. Ben Cardin Discusses Importance of Second Chances at Innovative South Baltimore Social Enterprise

June 2, 2015 - "Cardin Discusses Importance of Second Chances at Innovative South Baltimore Social Enterprise" Press Release from the Office of Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin

After his visit and roundtable participation at Second Chance, among other insights the Senator notes: "“It never ceases to amaze me what people can do when they are given even the smallest glimmer of hope, and I saw that transformative power on display at Second Chance. If you want to see people from some incredibly challenging backgrounds turning their lives around, visit them in South Baltimore. Second Chance isn’t only equipping people with the skills needed for ‘green-collar’ jobs, it’s helping communities renew themselves,” said Senator Cardin. “It’s also a lot of fun to shop there – their retail space is huge and filled to overflowing with every piece of architectural salvage you can think to list.”


“There isn’t a single member of the United States Senate who hasn’t received a second chance at one point or another,” said Senator Cardin. “If we want to reduce recidivism and truly allow people to re-establish their lives after a criminal conviction, we must allow Americans who have served their time to reintegrate fully by seeking gainful employment in our communities. That’s what Second Chance does for Baltimore, providing job training and real-world opportunities for its staff. Along the way, they learn a number of fundamental life skills and develop professional references, a first for many. The importance of these things to someone trying to re-enter society is difficult to overestimate.”

Opening Doors to Baltimore's Industrial Past

October 16, 2014 - "Opening Doors to Baltimore's Industrial Past" in The Baltimore Sun by Scott Ponemone

Second Chance was privileged to be a featured site in the first Doors Open Baltimore event....  From the article:

"In contemporary architecture argot, the word for the adaptive use of old buildings is "repurposing." Nowhere is this word better illustrated then at one of Baltimore's architectural salvage operations: Second Chance, not far from the new Horseshoe Casino.

Not only has its huge complex of warehouses been repurposed — it once held Doveco, a fabricator of duct work, welding and structural support systems, as well as ILEX Woodworking — but Second Chance's job is to repurpose parts of buildings about to be demolished."

Second Chance was a pioneer in the deconstruction industry when it was founded in 2000," says Kathleen Bailey, its director of development. "From the standpoint of our role in the deconstruction industry, it's kind of an interesting place to see all of the amazing things here for sale that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

"Those "amazing things" include what appears to be acres of doors, kitchen cabinets, appliances, lighting, flooring, shutters, furniture, vintage door locks and hinges,
staircase banisters ... you name it.

Second Chance will offer visitors a self-guided tour. "We're going to give them a map, showing them areas that will be of more interest to them that have either examples of creative repurposing or salvaged architectural interests, that sort of thing," Bailey says.

Love Letter to Baltimore

October 14, 2014 - "Love Letter to Baltimore" on SouthBMore.com

The exterior walls of Second Chance Inc. proudly display the latest installment in public artist Steve Power's project "Love Letters to Baltimore."

With sponsorship from the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Second Chance was selected as one of five sites because of our empowering social and environmental mission and our strategic location as part of the Gateway to Baltimore.

"We support the City's investment in making a dynamic, positive statement about the renewed spirit of our city to residents and visitors," said Second Chance President & Founder Mark Foster.

Powers, who invests time building relationships so that his painting and language art reflect the community who hosts it, landed on the inspiring message: WHAT IS AND WHAT CAN BE

That message aptly embodies the spirit of Baltimore in general and Second Chance in particular. Our homegrown nonprofit, headquartered at 1700 Ridgely Street in South Baltimore, trains those with employment barriers to deconstruct homes and buildings and salvage all sorts of materials, appliances, furniture, fixtures and more for resale.

Accordingly, Foster notes, "The message reflects the potential of giving second chances to people and material." And that, dear friends, is what we're all about!  (Click the link above to read the full press release.)

Old Becomes New – Katie’s Bedroom Project

March 31, 2014 - "Old Becomes New – Katie’s Bedroom Project" in Alexandra Design Finds by Alenandra

Here's a sample of a designer's blog that showcases salvaged materials available for sale at our store, which are then repurposed in beautiful ways. "Katie found these vintage shutters for $30 at Second Chance, a great resource for architectural salvage in Baltimore."  Nice work!

New Life at Second Chance Resale

March 31, 2014 - "New Life at Second Chance Resale" in Chesapeake Inspired by Katie Riley

At Second Chance Inc., an antique and architectural salvage emporium in downtown Baltimore, everything old is new again. The 200,000-square-foot warehouse off of I-295 houses a wonderland of architectural salvage, home décor items and building materials sure to astound the most experienced treasure hunter. The incredible inventory of old windows, doors, claw-foot tubs and lighting selections never ceases to amaze, but it is the company's environmentally friendly mission that is most impressive.

Founded in 2001, Second Chance Inc. is dedicated to developing sustainable solutions through deconstruction. By partnering with area builders and architects, the nonprofit is able to salvage building parts slated for demolition and resell them to the general public.

A visit to the warehouse reveals rows of stained glass windows, vintage fixtures and aisles of antiques with everything from oriental rugs to original oil paintings. The authentic Baltimore salvage, lumber and moldings are a renovator's dream; even the most discerning DIY-er could find something to love in the deeply discounted wood flooring and vast array of kitchen cabinetry. Second Chance, whose motto is "Retrain, Reclaim, Renew," is also committed to offering jobs and life skills education to Baltimore City residents faced with unemployment and life challenges.

"For a decade now, Second Chance Inc. has been committed to providing green-collar job training to those who have previously faced barriers to employment, says Pete Theodore, marketing director of Second Chance
Inc. "While developing a skilled workforce who can 'un-build' structures, we divert an enormous amount of demolition debris from the waste stream, provide significant tax advantages to our home and product
donors, and preserve our region's rich architectural history."

After several hours spent strolling through the warehouse, it's impossible to discover all the store has to offer, because at Second Chance, they are selling more than just vintage furniture and old house parts.



A Serene Sanctuary on the Wye River

March 11, 2014 - "A Serene Sanctuary on the Wye River" in What's Up? Magazine (Eastern Shore) by By 
Lurdes Abruscato

It was a special privilege for Second Chance's deconstruction team to be a part of recycling this historic structure featured on the cover of this magazine.  "Whirlwind activity began the day after settlement, with Second Chance, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that salvages reusable materials for resale as part of a job training program, re-purposing 3,000 square feet of wood floors, windows, mechanical equipment, appliances, bath fixtures and more."  Visit our store to see and reuse the salvaged materials!

Nonprofit Recycles Old Fredericksburg House

September 28, 2013 - "Nonprofit Recycles Old Fredericksburg House" in The Free Lance-Star by Bridget Balch

Here is a short, informative case study that sheds light on our deconstruction services and mission in general.

Deconstruction Project Program Visits Landenberg

June 25, 2013 - "Deconstruction Project Program Visits Landenberg" in Chester County Press by Richard L. Gaw


This excellent article tracks how "Landenberg served as a recent work site for Second Chance, a Baltimore-based program designed to give inner-city young men the opportunity to deconstruct homes and salvage usable materials for resale."


Government Is Broken, But There Is Another Way to Heal What Ails Us

July 9, 2013 - "Government Is Broken, But There Is Another Way to Heal What Ails Us" in The Baltimore Sun by Vann R. Ellison

The subtitle says it all: "Social welfare organizations can fill in where partisanship has eroded the safety net."  The article concludes: "[S]ocial enterprises are transforming communities in Main Street America. No law or government program can match the dedication of committed members of a community. I am the CEO of an organization that started as a homeless shelter. Years later, we realized the permanent value we can provide to our community was not temporarily housing people, but providing work in our catering and thrift-store operations.

Baltimore-based Second Chance, Inc. creates "green collar" jobs by taking apart buildings that would otherwise be demolished and dumped in a landfill. The organization then offers the reclaimed materials to the public at a discount, helping fund job training and workforce development programs. Salvaged items available for sale range from rolls
of chain link fence to marble fireplace mantels.

Instead of waiting on a top-down solution that may never come, the social enterprise model is a community-driven approach that turns profits, attracts investors and solves social problems. The next evolution in combating poverty is not an uncertain leap with a massive new government program, but a series of deliberate steps in communities
throughout our country."

Re-purposeful decor: home designers, too, can reduce, reuse and recycle

April 25, 2013 - "Re-purposeful decor: home designers, too, can reduce, reuse and recycle" in The Washington Post by Janet Bennett Kelly

Green designer and consultant Topher Paterno uses these criteria for judging the eco-friendliness of decor: Is it reclaimed, repurposed, recyclable, renewable or have green intent? As for where to find it, Paterno, who owns Pazzo Verde, an eco-sensitive design, building and consulting company based in Washington, offers these sourcing tips: 1. Look for reclaimed doors, flooring and kitchen cabinets from salvage companies such as Community Forklift and Second Chance. 2. When shopping online, use “eco” as one of your search terms. 3. Frequent thrift stores to find furniture and recycle it. “It can be less expensive to reupholster an old couch than to buy a new one.”

Salvage Firm Reclaims Past, Builds Futures

August 6, 2012 - "Salvage Firm Reclaims Past, Builds Futures" Voice of America by Julie Taboh

This article aptly captures the big picture of Second Chance, along with the positive impact made on real lives.  Links to a professionally produced radio spot and video segment are available on the same page.  These have been translated into several languages and enjoyed around the world!

It's a Second Chance for Goods and People

August 3, 2012 - "It's a Second Chance for Goods and People" in The Daily Record by Lizzy McLellan.

The article begins....  "At first glance, Second Chance looks like a second-hand furniture and building materials shop.   And it is.  But the nonprofit is not only a deconstruction company and a store, it's also an employment training program." 

Second Time's the Charm

July 2012 - "Second Time's the Charm"  Home Front section in Baltimore Magazine by Hilary Geisbert.

"Once you visit the new home of Second Chance, one of the area’s best architectural salvage sources, it becomes apparent why its recent move took several months to accomplish—even if it was literally just around the corner. Starting in October of 2011, it successfully relocated the contents of its five warehouses (equaling 160,000 square feet, or the equivalent of 80 houses) on Warner Street to a new space on Ridgely Street (200,000 square feet). The new location has opened the doors for expansion and opportunity....."

Everybody--and Everything--Deserves a Second Chance

June 2012 - "Everybody--and Everything--Deserves a Second Chance"  Who's Got the Goods section of Baltimore's Child by Paula Goodgal

Nice page in this local publication serving the greater Baltimore area.  We love it that our work directly and indirectly helps kids and strengthens families.

19th Century Romanian Wagon For Sale!

April 19, 2012 - "19th Century Romanian Wagon For Sale!"  Adam's Auto Advice, Baltimore.

Some products really are worth singling out!

Get Ready for The Fork and Wrench

March 22, 2012 - "Get Ready for The Fork and Wrench" BaltimoreMagazine.net by Suzanne Loudermilk

We love being the "go to place" for so many new and redesigning establishments!

Men at Work: Community service is a preseason tradition for men’s lacrosse team

January 24, 2012 - "Men at Work: Community service is a preseason tradition for men’s lacrosse team"  by Christine Baksi

In January 2012, a whopping 57 players and coaches from the Dickinson College men's lacrosse team suited up to help provide second chances!  Dickinson places a major emphasis on instilling the value of community service into its students....and, boy, did they ever serve!  From sorting lumber to clearing warehouse space to pitching in on home deconstruction, this crew spent four and a half solid days making a huge and lasting impact on Second Chance.

Although they worked in frigid temperatures, slept in unfinished office space, and had to shuttle to the local YMCA to shower, each worker displayed a contagiously positive attitude. Their service trips are in tended to be a team-building experience, and teamwork was evident in everything they did.  We're glad they came to Baltimore and got in the game so smoothly and eagerly!

All these energetic man hours couldn't have come at a better time, either.  At the end of their extended service trip, Executive Director Mark Foster exclaimed, "I don't know how we would have been ready for the move without them!"    

Second Chance Moving to a New Home of Its Own

January 24, 2012 - "Second Chance Moving to a New Home of Its Own" Front page of the Business Section of The Baltimore Sun by Lorraine Mirabella  (video here as well)

Since opening in 2003 in a leased warehouse in the crumbling industrial area just south of M&T Bank Stadium, Second Chance has grown to occupy several leased warehouses. But it has always operated under the threat of eviction, thanks to various redevelopment proposals in the area.

No more. On Thursday, Second Chance will officially open its permanent home in a huge warehouse on Ridgely Street, just across Russell Street from the current location.

The move, undertaken to make room for a future slots casino, will allow Second Chance to operate more efficiently, said Mark Foster, the organization's founder and chief executive.

He said the permanent dwelling also will enable the group to better carry out its dual mission: to find new purposes for old building materials and furnishings, and to train the unemployed in job and life skills. Workers in the training program staff the warehouses and retail operations and also work on deconstruction projects — carefullly taking apart homes and other structures to salvage the parts......

Youthworks Success Story

November 2011 - "Youthworks Success Story" Press Release from the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development

"It felt like I belonged here from week one,” said David Wiggins, 17, of his position at the nonprofit Second Chance. He started working there in June 2011 in a six-week summer job through Baltimore City’s YouthWorks program operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), but he knew almost immediately that he wanted to stay with the organization long‐term.
“I knew I wanted to work here,” he said. “I like the atmosphere and the workers. Lifting is making me stronger. It’s hard work but it’s fun. We work as a team to get stuff done faster.”

In an evaluation at the end of the YouthWorks program, David’s supervisor described him as “consistent and enthusiastic with a positive attitude; [he is] ready and willing to complete assigned tasks, takes initiative, and is a team player.” David’s enthusiasm and hard work paid off, and he was hired by Second Chance as a full‐time warehouse worker in October 2011.....

Dansko Providing Second Chance for Workers, Materials

November 8, 2011 - "Dansko Providing Second Chance for Workers, Materials"  Daily Local News by Gretchen Metz

Here is coverage of Second Chance's deconstruction crews at work in the Philadelphia area for Dansko, the well-known shoe company.

Clearing the Way for Slots

September 16, 2011 - "Clearing the Way for Slots" Up Front section in the Baltimore Business Journal by Scott Dance

"Second Chance is relocating from city site pitched for casino."

Federal Hill Renovation Brings Generations Together

August 11, 2011 - "Federal Hill Renovation Brings Generations Together"  The Baltimore Sun by Marie Marciano Gullard

Here's another example of how a Second Chance product fits perfectly in a local renovation!

Baltimore Ravens Back to Business as NFL Lockout Ends

July 29, 2011 - "Baltimore Ravens Back to Business as NFL Lockout Ends"  Baltimore Business Journal by Scott Dance

Mark Foster, CEO of Second Chance Inc., a salvage yard operating some of those lots, said he planned to get out renewals July 28 for reserved home-game parking spots that go for about $400 a pop. Gameday Warehouse, a party Charm City Hospitality and CBS Radio hold during each home game at one of Second Chance’s facilities, is also set to go on, he said. Together, the parking and Gameday Warehouse bring $100,000 in revenue and donations to the nonprofit each year, he said.

Bodacious and Bright: Roar Back to the '20s

July 11, 2011 - "Bodacious and Bright: Roar Back to the '20s"  Baltimore Magazine by Shabdiece Esfahani

Hang on to a piece of history with this gorgeous Art Deco exterior lantern salvaged from the original 1929 Philadelphia Civic Center. Complete with working electric wiring, an irreplaceable verdigris patina, and scrolling leaf details, the fixture can easily be translated into the home. Standing over four-feet tall, the sheer size, coupled with the intricate workmanship, gives the piece a sculptural identity outside of its first life. (Philadelphia Civic Center light fixture ($12,500) at Second Chance architectural salvage warehouse, 1501 Warner St., 410-385-1101.)

Salvage and Regeneration

April 14, 2011 "Salvage and Regeneration"  Baltimore Magazine by John Lewis

Tonight, Second Chance—a nonprofit with the worthy goal of “retraining and creating employment for displaced and unemployed workers in deconstruction methods” and “reclaiming building materials to reduce demolition debris overloading landfills”—kicks off Baltimore Green Week with an art exhibition. Curated by Jason Meyer, Regeneration will explore the notion of sustainability through sculpture, painting, photography, video, and more. Fifteen artists will present work, refreshments will be served, and trees will be given away. And it's free. The event runs from 5:30 to 10 pm at Second Chance, which is located at 1400 Warner Street, near M&T Bank Stadium.

Good Green Jobs: Deconstruction as Community Development Tool

April 2011 - "Good Green Jobs: Deconstruction as Community Development Tool"  BioCycle by Neil Seldman (.pdf)

Building deconstruction and valuable material resale creates green businesses as well as jobs with decent wages and benefits, adding quality to quantity of the US recycling movement.

Out of Air?

February 18, 2011 - "Out of Air?"  Baltimore Business Journal by Scott Dance

NFL lockout may deflate sales at businesses that rely on Ravens revenue. "Mark Foster, CEO of Second Chance, says the nonprofit salvage yard near M&T Bank Stadium would lose $100,000 if the Ravens don't play."

Directory of Architectural Salvage Stores

2011 - "Directory of Architectural Salvage Stores"  Old House Journal by Clare Martin

Second Chance is listed as one of two architectural salvage stores in the state of Maryland.

What Other Resources Are Available?

Updated 2011 - "What Other Resources Are Available?"  National Trust for Historic Preservation

Second Chance is listed among the "sources of information available on the technical/decorative aspects of preservation."

Noteworthy News Before 2011

Listed in "2010-11 Guide to Architectural Salvage, Antique Lumber & Garden Antiques Companies" by the Publishers of Architectural Salvage News.

The source for locating architectural salvage and antique lumber suppliers throughout the U.S. and Canada

October 4, 2010 - "Frankenbars"  The Baltimore Sun by Erik Maza

A creative use of salvage materials keeps good things from going to waste as owners pour history into their pubs.  Read about how Second Chance features prominently in these enterprises.

September 23, 2010 - "Deconstruction 101" in EcoHome by Jennifer Goodman

This primer on the process of deconstruction includes the following excerpt:

Workers from Baltimore-based architectural salvage company Second Chance descended on the house in early June and over two days stripped out flooring, toilets, appliances, light fixtures, and framing. On other projects with longer deconstruction times, Beeson says the salvage company has reclaimed framing and roofing materials and even electrical wires. “It’s not an easy process,” says Beeson. “It’s time-consuming and exacting.”

All the salvaged products and materials end up at the nonprofit’s warehouses near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor where they are sold to architects, builders, and the general public. Homeowners can receive a hefty tax writeoff for donating their old materials after making a one-time donation to Second Chance for their salvaging services."We
try to get all of our customers to sign up with Second Chance, and we’ve been pretty successful due to the significant tax benefits," Beeson says.

In addition to what Second Chance salvaged, Bethesda Bungalows’ crew removed the oak flooring, to be used later on another project (see video below). By the time Rockville, Md.-based contractor GM Williams & Sons arrived for demolition in early July, the 1,200-square-foot house was not much more than the framing and foundation, and about 25% of demolition waste had been diverted from the landfill, Beeson estimates.

June 22, 2010 - "Homes for Sale, A Piece at a Time: Materials Salvaged from Houses Find Boom Market"  USA Today by Wendy Koch

Non-profit Second Chance in Baltimore deconstructs 75 houses annually plus parts of 200 to 300 other buildings, up from five homes in 2003, founder Mark Foster says. He says his warehouse space is 150,000 square feet, up from 15,000 square feet. "People are looking for products that are gently used but one-third the price," Foster says, explaining why his annual sales have increased from less than $500,000 in 2003 to more than $2 million.

December 2009 - "Featured Dealer: Second Chance Inc."  This Old House by Mark Foster and Andrew Gardiner

Second Chance is different than high-end architectural antiques stores. The products we offer, the customers who come in, and the employees who work here run the gamut. Second Chance gives jobs to the city's unemployed by training them to do deconstruction, which is basically unbuilding old houses and giving their components a new lease on life. The people who undergo training each year are guaranteed a job with us at the end of the apprenticeship. What's great is that we are expanding into other cities that have the same issues as Baltimore: displaced workers but a strong labor pool and local governments that are interested in providing jobs.

November 23, 2009 - "To Strengthen Maryland's Nonprofit Economy, Think Like an Entrepreneur"  Baltimore Business Journal by Paul Wolman and J. Howard Kucher

Second Chance is singled out as 1 of 4 "great examples of the social entrepreneurship model...at work in metropolitan Baltimore."

September 2009 - "Salvaging Buildings and Lives"  Southern Living by James T. Black

This major magazine reports on how "Second Chance Inc. finds new lives for antique fixtures and unemployed people."

September 14, 2009 - "Second Chance Architectural Salvage in Baltimore"  Chesapeake Home + Living by Dennis Hockman

I don’t get to Second Chance in Baltimore that often, but whenever I do, I am amazed by the inventory—a mix of architectural salvage, antique house parts like railings, doors, knobs, and hardware as well as new and used building materials and antique furnishings, art, and rugs.

The Second Chance website about page describes itself well: “In our throw-away world, buildings are only meant to last for 20 years, shingles are plastic and old-world craftsmanship is nearly impossible to find. Second Chance gives old buildings new life. We work with local and regional architects, builders and contractors to search out old buildings which are entering the demolition phase. We rescue the wood, metal, marble, plaster, stone and other architectural elements that make the building special. We give these pieces new lives, in new homes, in new ways, with new uses. It’s a Second Chance.”

Or A LOT of second chances. When I say the place is a little overwhelming, I mean it. Spread out over 4 warehouses each with a unique collection, it takes some time just walking through—let alone trying to find something specific. When I go, I go with a plan.... if you go, make sure you leave yourself enough time . . . and take a pick-up truck so you can take home whatever you find.

April 2009 - "The Baltimore Green Guide"  Urbanite, The Green Issue

Second Chance, in South Baltimore, has warehouses full of this stuff, plus a collection of antique furniture and trimmings.

January 11, 2009 - "In Search of a Second Chance"  The Baltimore Sun by Lorraine Mirabella

In this article Second Chance, a "South Baltimore business being forced to move for redevelopment is looking for a new location."

December 2008 - "Renee Zellweger Spotting Becomes Baltimore's Favorite Pastime"  Baltimore Magazine - ed. Max Weiss

We try not to get all gushy and stuff, but se eing an A-list movie star in our town, shopping at our stores, eating at our restaurants makes us a little star gazey. This past summer, apple-cheeked actress Renee Zellweger was here filming the period piece My One and Only and the poor girl couldn't buy hand weights without us knowing about it. She was spotted at South Moon Under buying a Marc Jacobs bag and Ray-Bans; at Urban Chic she left with Sara Happ lip scrub in vanilla bean and cocoa and Herban Essentials Peppermint Towelettes. She dined at Charleston and Cinghiale, perused the goods at Second Chance, sipped coffee at Starbucks, and worked out at MAC. She was described as "the sweetest, nicest person," "really, really skinny," "all smiles," and "we're like best friends now." Hopefully, she liked us, too.

November 2008 - "Construction Site" Baltimore Magazine by Jessica Klein

Coverage of Second Chance's 4th Annual Wreckers Ball on September 20 to celebrate our newly renovated warehouse.  The construction-themed "event raised $50,000 to support Second Chance Architectural Antiques and Salvage, which trains low-income residents of Baltimore in a wide variety of skill sets, ranging from carpentry to craftsmanship."

October 2008 - "Personal Space: Cockeysville, Deconstructed"  Baltimore Magazine by Jane Marion
Hesselberth and Plunkert also share an affinity for salvaging industrial pieces and reusing them in unexpected ways. Plunkert transformed a violin case into a shelving unit for the living room, while an old tool box found new life as a medicine chest in the kids' bathroom. Frequent trips to Baltimore architectural salvage shop Second Chance yielded panels of ceiling tin now wired together as wall art for the living room and an old street grate that is now embedded into the flooring outside Jacob's room."We try not to make this house fussy," sums up Plunkert with a laugh. "It's kind of like Frank Lloyd Wright meets trailer park."

July 10, 2008 - "Our Favorite Shops in Baltimore"  The Washington Post by Terri Sapienza

In this "Home" Section of the Post, the authors suggest the nine best places in Charm City "to help you settle in and set up house."  The occasion is the marriage of Jenna Bush, daughter of President Bush!

February 10, 2008 - "Lost and Found"  The Baltimore Sun by Andrea Siegel

The byline reads: "Whether it's salvaging historic hardware or leftover ceramic tiles, frugal homeowners are turning to recycled building materials."  Now you know why Second Chance is mentioned!

2008 - "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems"  HarperCollins by Van Jones

Jones shines the spotlight on Second Chance in this New York Times Bestseller!  Summaries, reviews, and copies are available online at Amazon.

December 7, 2007 - "Second Chance Inc. - a First-Rate Treasure Trove"  The Examiner (Baltimore) by Sarah Moran

Second Chance founder Mark Foster answers questions about this "four-year-old nonprofit that strips, stores and sells almost anything you can fathom from about-to-be-razed buildings."

November 2007 - "Going Green: Thirty-One Ways You Can Help the Bay"  Chesapeake Life by Kessler Burnett

Patronizing your own Second Chance comes in as the twenty-forth way you can help save the precious Chesapeake Bay!

October 2007 - "Turning Up the Heat"  Baltimore Magazine by Barbara Fusciello

Second Chance products and advice are given in this article on "new ways to upgrade the heating system in your house."

September 8, 2007 - "Getting a Handle on Stylish Doorknob"  The Baltimore Sun by Rob Kasper

As the title suggests, this article is about embarking on a project to spruce up your doors...and thus living space.  Second Chance products and installation advice comprise most of the article.

September 6, 2007 - "New Deconstruction Initiative Takes Place"  The Observer by Kevin Kessler

This New Jersey publication showcases Second Chance's deconstruction of houses and a medical center.

April 26, 2007 - "Program Salvages Jadwin Loop Materials for Re-Use"  Belvoir Eagle by Melina Rodriguez

The article describes "Fort Belvoir and the non-profit organization Second Chance Incorporated...joining forces to salvage material from historic homes in Jadwin Loop."

April 2007 - "New Turns for Old Newels"  This Old House by Amy Hughes

Second Chance products and insight gleam in this article on "how to use the vintage wooden posts to support a new staircase, prop up a counter, or dress up an entryway."

October 12, 2006 - "Putting a Demolished House to Good Use"  Baltimore Messenger by Loni Ingraham

Second Chance's deconstruction of a north Baltimore home is described.

October 11, 2006 - "Deedy & God & Second Chances"  Towson Times by Loni Ingraham

An avid recycler lets Second Chance work its magic, making the way for a dream house to be built and jobs to be created.

July/August 2006 - "This Old Stuff: Architectural Salvage Enters the Mainstream"  Preservation by Amanda Kolson Hurley

Second Chance plays a prominent role in this feature article on the growing trend of deconstruction and architectural salvage.

Summer 2006 - "Mark Foster, Second Chance Synergist"  from The Grapevine in The Cathedral Connection by Mary Jo Coiro

A thoughtful write-up on Second Chance and its founder.  The Grapevine spotlights those who manifest Catholic beliefs in the world-at-large.

Spring 2006 - "Charm City's Charms"  Home and Design by Tracy Griggs

Second Chance is featured among "the thriving design and home fashion scene [that's] keeping pace with 'The New Baltimore.'"

March 2005 - "Keeping It Historic"  Baltimore Magazine by Christine Demkowych

The summary reads: "The purist homeowner doesn't shop just anywhere to keep his renovation authentic."  That's why Second Chance shows up in the article!

Spring 2005 - "Be Original"  Home and Garden by Christine Demkowych

Second Chance is singled out as a tremendous resource for "rehabbers with a vision (who) bring new life to old structures."

December 19, 2004 - "Adding Fine Old Items for 'Instant Character'"  The Baltimore Sun by Scott Waldman

"Homeowners are turning to architectural salvaging to give new or remodeled houses a touch of vintage furnishings and past craftsmanship," says the byline.  It's no wonder, then, that Second Chance is a focal point of this piece.

February 2004 - "100 Building and Decorating Sources"  Home Magazine

Second Chance proudly sits among this elite company!

February 2004 - "Shop Salvage"  Country Living

At merely one year old, Second Chance is already singled out in national publications as a "go to" place for shopping for salvaged products.

December 18, 2003 - "Girlie's Bar Gets New Life"  The Baltimore Sun by Scott Calvert

The Hoffman's "family tavern in Canton gives way to  development, but pieces of it will get a second chance" through the salvaging efforts of Second Chance.

November/December 2003 - "Chances Are" Style by Doug Brown

"Baltimore's old tubs and ornate mantels are salvaged for a second chance."

September 21, 2003 - "An Even Better Second Chance"  The Baltimore Sun by Lori Sears

This article marks Second Chance's opening of "its third Baltimore Warehouse of architectural antiques and salvaged items."

June 19, 2003 - "Search and Rescue" Home Section of The Washington Post by Doug Brown

"Spared from the landfill, architectural finds get a second chance."