Kellie Roe never imagined she would be here.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no,” she said.
Yes, she said “no” seven times.
Standing between New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez, Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, Assemblyman John McDonald, and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, Roe cut a ceremonial ribbon to open Second Chance Opportunities Inc.’s new Recovery Community and Outreach Center at 55 Colvin Avenue on Wednesday, October 23.
“So much of our work is about overcoming challenges and a lot of getting to today was overcoming challenges,” said Roe, founder and executive director of Second Chance Opportunities, which is a client of Albany Law School’s Community Development Clinic.
“We are looking forward to expanding what we do to helping not just those with addictions, but their families,” Roe said. “We want to help them and support them. It is all about support.”
Albany Law School students and staff attorney David Craft—working through the Community Development Clinic within The Justice Center at Albany Law School—supported Second Chance on the way to the ribbon cutting. They helped with contracts, worked on obtaining the property from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, and were around the table—at Albany Law School—when Roe closed on the property in November 2018.
“We would not be here without the support, expertise, and passion that Albany Law School’s students, and especially David Craft, gave to us,” Roe said. “We have come so far with their help. We are grateful that they were, and still are, willing to be our partners and our friends.”
The Recovery Community and Outreach Center is the latest of over three dozen recovery centers spread across New York.
"Second Chance is bridging the gaps between addiction, recovery, and the rest of life," said Lt. Gov. Hochul at the ribbon cutting. "I am here to put an exclamation point on the value of the work being done here."
Founded in 2001, Second Chance Opportunities Inc. is a nonprofit organization that employs more than 70 people in substance-abuse recovery through janitorial service contracts in the Capital Region. Second Chance offers guidance and support in many areas, from housing to financial limitations caused by outstanding child support and debt to tax preparation. The new center will extend its mission by providing a safe space for individuals in recovery and their families to attend events and recreational activities, and receive employment assistance and training, life-skills development, peer-to-peer support, and housing assistance.
“Addiction is a disease that strikes the entire family,” González-Sánchez said. “It is not just treatment, but prevention and recovery—there is an entire spectrum of care. It took a long time to get here, but the important thing is that we are here now and opening today.”
Supporting Second Chance accounted for just some of the 52,000-plus pro bono and public service hours contributed by Albany Law School’s most recent graduating class. And thanks to a $15 million gift—part of We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School—The Justice Center at Albany Law School will be able to amplify its impact while continuing to extend free legal assistance to the Capital Region's small business and nonprofit sectors, while providing students hands-on experience in transactional law.
“It takes so many people to help people,” said Roe. “I am proud to call everyone at Albany Law School our friends.”
Read more about the Community Development Clinic.