Downtown-based Anti-Recidivism Coalition, a support and advocacy network for the formerly incarcerated, has leased 12,623 square feet of office space at Row DTLA.
In a statement, Scott Budnick, ARC’s founder, and the president said the organization chose to locate at Row DTLA because of the community of creative tenants at the site, a former industrial property renovated to house creative office space, retail, dining and public gathering space.
ARC, a nonprofit coalition operating at 448 S. Hill St., offers reentry services, including education and employment assistance, supportive housing and trauma counseling. The group, which assists more than 400 formerly incarcerated young people across the state, is expected to move to its new home at the end of the month.
While ARC was founded in 2013, its roots can be traced back to 2003, when founder Scott Budnick first stepped into Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall. At the time, Scott worked in the film industry as Executive Vice President of Green Hat Films, where he produced numerous successful comedies, including The Hangover series. A friend in the industry invited Scott to attend a writing workshop at the juvenile hall through the InsideOUT Writers (IOW) program.
Scott sat alongside incarcerated youth in the Compound, including some as young as 15 years old, who were facing adult prison sentences – including one boy who was facing more than 200 years in prison. In their writings, he learned of the terrible decisions they had made, but also of their childhoods, marked by trauma, violence, and neglect. That day, Scott committed to mentoring incarcerated youth and has since conducted regular writing classes in the facility.
Over the years, as Scott’s students were released from juvenile halls and prisons across California, he witnessed many of them returning to incarceration, unable to overcome the challenges of reentry due to the lack of community and support that led them into the system in the first place.
ARC began as an annual camping trip bringing together a few dozen formerly incarcerated young people with positive mentors to offer encouragement, guidance, and resources. Today, the Coalition has grown into a support and advocacy network of more than 300 members, and hundreds of volunteer mentors and allies, committed to helping one another through reentry and advocating for a fairer criminal justice system.
Row DTLA is a development of New York developer Atlas Capital. There are 19 tenants at the 30-acre Row DTLA site at Seventh and Alameda, which had been used in the 20th century as a produce distribution hub. Current tenants range from fashion shops to Tokyobike, a Japanese bicycle shop, and Café Dulce, a coffee shop and bakery.
“Like-minded companies, like Mitú, are already tenants, and the prospect of a slew of other innovative companies and start-ups, as well as exciting stores and restaurants, made this location obvious—but our decision ultimately rested on shared values held by ownership and team at The Row,” Budnick said in the statement. For more information visit http://www.antirecidivism.org/