Blog Posts

Nancy Cotterill co-founded 2nd Chance Indiana (as UNITE INDY) in late 2016. She was editor and later publisher of Indianapolis Business Journal, and then created a not-for-profit online news outlet for the four million wheelchair users in the U.S. As an award-winning journalist, Nancy uses her talents to promote efforts to fight the causes of overall poverty throughout our area while working to spread the specific message that second chance employment is lowering recidivism, changing lives, and raising families out of poverty.

January 21, 2021

In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. preached the following words as he pursued peace in a time of change: "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." But is peace attainable today? Between super powers? Between political parties? Between neighbors? For anyone watching the news, the answer would have to be "no."

January 7, 2021

Almost 20 years ago my husband, Jim, was paralyzed in an accident. As the months went by and he fought to regain his ability to walk and use his hands, a community of differently-abled people became our friends .Hungry for information, we searched online for websites that might show us better ways to live what might be Jim's new life in a wheelchair. There weren't any such sites. As a former newspaper person, I knew the five million wheelchair users in the U.S. would welcome a site about and for them and within the year, I started a site called People On Wheels.Culling through world-wide news every day to populate the website was a huge job and when the work became more than I could handle, Starr Velez appeared...

December 21, 2020

Christmas time is tough. Especially in times like these when family and friends are out of touch, when others are gathering and we are quarantined, when the normal holiday rituals are just not going to happen. At a time when the Light Of The World is celebrating a birthday, we should be happy, right? We live in consummate luxury compared to most the people on the planet, yet the world continues to dish out difficulties like mashed potatoes at Wheeler Mission on Thanksgiving...

December 7, 2020

Last night was shattered by a call from a dear friend. She told me that a man we all love and respect, a good man in the prime of his life has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. A pawl has descended over us. We echo that favorite question of all needy Christians: "Why, God, why?" And the response does not come. I saw a t-shirt that had a huge 2020 printed on it. Underneath there was the outline of five stars, with only one filled in. The review said: "Very bad. Would not visit again."

November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving…iving...iving.."Last March, at the beginning of our romance with this virus, I never thought that on Thanksgiving of this year I'd be planning a big gathering for two at a restaurant of our choice. My whole life I've never been at a Thanksgiving dinner with fewer than 18 people--at home with too many cooks in the happy bustling kitchen. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Since we're planning on going to a restaurant, I feel lucky we're in Indiana. I hear California now requires masks to be worn between bites and sips in restaurants there...

November 6, 2020

Kids are being taught in school today that everyone is racist--they claim we don't even know it, but we are all definitely racists. Personally, I hate that kind of thinking. It is a dangerous message. If people believe they are racist, they then have the propensity to forgive themselves for racist thoughts, ideals, and actions. Nope. Not going to do that. I have lots of friends who are white and who are black. I've never heard a racist remark from any of them. They all have friends in various communities of color and think nothing of it. Yet these kids' teachers insist we don't know our own minds. Well, thanks, but no thanks.The big divider Jim and I have witnessed is not skin color...

October 21, 2020

Indianapolis is a war zone. In a tweet this morning, Rev. Charles Harrison, leader of The Indy TenPoint Coalition, referred to our city as the Wild Wild West. He said, "So far this weekend we have had 18 people shot, 1 person stabbed, and 4 people killed, bringing the total to 192 homicides so far this year." A record. We hear reports of these deaths and can't believe this continues in our city..

October 7, 2020

In the midst of a deepening political divide that destroys friendships and breaks up families, I recently came upon a book* that might help us bridge that great chasm between the right and left. It is interesting that data shows that people on both sides of the political debate feel that they are motivated by love, while the other side is motivated by hate. The 2016 election brought these feelings to a fever pitch. People didn't just disagree with each other, they dismissed each other entirely...

September 21, 2020

We have lost much during the time of Covid-19. Loved ones, our jobs, some have lost entire businesses. We have been shut off from our friends, unable to hug or even shake hands, which for those of us who are huggers--is a big deal. A lot of talk has been about what we can't do and can't have. There are no crowds at football games this fall. Our favorite restaurant is closed...

September 7, 2020

For some time now we've been fighting along side Indiana Institute For Working Families to lower the interest rate cap on short term pay day loans.Anyone with a social security check, or low paying job can borrow quickly and easily from one of the many pay day loan companies that operate here. The catch is they'll pay a whopping 371 percent effective interest rate*. A rate that often saddles the borrower with interminable debt.These loans harm the families we serve, keeping them forever in debt, and without proper funds for essentials--food for their families...

Contact Information

2nd Chance Indiana
241 West 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208


Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce recidivism and rebuild lives through the dignity of work.