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.

May 21, 2024

Fifty years of empirical evidence proves you can change the trajectory of the life of a family member or close friend in prison through visits, phone calls and more. So, do you have a family member or close friend in long term incarceration? If, so, here's what you can do...

February 21, 2024

"I think of boys getting guns and girls getting babies. Children who know how to create kids but not how to raise them. And I think of those dreadful numbers behind youth violence and carjackings, high school absenteeism and truancy rates, and the stream of young boys and girls…and I face how far we have fallen..."

December 21, 2023

Locked away from friends and family, from parents, siblings and children, incarcerated people have little option but to try and make the best of an unbearable situation at Christmas. Read the bitter-sweet reason one woman hates to call home during the holidays. 

October 21, 2023

Inflation has dealt a crushing blow to families with an annual income of less than $40,000 a year. Sixty-six percent reported hardship to severe hardship. Say you have an income of $37,000 a year. After inflation over the past three years, your family has had to get by with what amounts to a $7,400.00 cut in spendable income. Americans in the middle class are getting especially squeezed says a report by the Congressional Budget Office. For them, prices have increased far faster than their income.

February 21, 2023

When a short-term money crisis hits a family, payday predatory lenders are there for the working poor. These lenders reap huge interest payments that, according to the Federal Trade Commission, can reach up to 390 APR. Meanwhile these companies regularly take working people down the path to bankruptcy.The car broke down and you have to get to work…

January 6, 2023

I picked up a book at a Vintage fair just before Christmas. It was a slim little volume, written by Bud Robinson, who was born in 1860 into a family of seven children, all living in a tiny, windowless, dirt-floored log cabin in the hills of Tennessee. His father was a mean drunkard who owned a still and sold whiskey like everyone else in those hills.

February 22, 2021

On the phone with a friend recently, she said, "You know with COVID restrictions I've spent a lot more time with my family." She paused…. "I realize I don't like them very much." I laughed--it was surely a joke. But many families have been under a lot of strain with kids home from school, parents working from home, and many having lost their jobs entirely. We seem to either be suffering from isolation or from too much togetherness...

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 21, 2019

They say that life is ten percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to whatever happened. Since it's Christmas time, we know from experience that people will be in a hurry and tend to do things like cut us off in traffic, send us a size small when we ordered a large, and may generally be rushed and rude. Hopefully we can deal with these small offenses. But it gets more difficult with a house full of relatives. Christmas get-togethers can mean arguments over everything from how to cook a turkey to whether the polar ice cap is going to melt and flood Florida. However, there are some ways to get around these family debacles...

August 21, 2019

Poverty is a many-headed dragon. Racism, lack of education, generational cultural issues, drugs, incarceration of someone in the family, you name it--it all stands in the way of lifting folks out of poverty and the limits that surround them. From the beginning, UNITE INDY knew that although there were many hands at work in our city, so many of these efforts suffer and many fail due to their lack of the simple supplies and assistance they need every day to do their work, like diapers, or socks, or people to work along side them. To that end, we introduced our Meet The Need web portal. On this site, ministries and charities upload their needs for volunteers and items they require, and the great people of our city have responded...

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.