'Second Chance Summit' helps connect former inmates to new opportunities

An event held Wednesday for newly-released inmates is looking to connect them with economic opportunities.

The event was put on by the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services at Kennedy King College and started with an outline of educational opportunities for returning residents to get an education at Chicago City Colleges.

Leaders say the event was to celebrate Second Chance Month, which is in April in Cook County. It's meant to highlight the challenges associated with people looking to return to society after spending time behind bars and work to connect those individuals with support and opportunities.

Speakers wanted those in attendance to know that there's help out there for those in need of a boost to success.

"Today demonstrates the city's commitment to creating a supportive environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute positively to society. That means offering resources and programs to help individuals reintegrate into society," said Brandie Knazze, Commissioner, Department of Family & Support Services.

"We must empower returning residents to lead stable and prosperous lives in our city so that they can truly contribute to a better, stronger, and much safer Chicago," Mayor Brandon Johnson added.

This is the first year of this event, but organizers said they hope it's something that can become an annual opportunity for returning residents.