We recently had the opportunity to check out Second Chance in Baltimore, MD. It’s a huge 200,000 square foot warehouse full of salvaged finds—well worth the trip! Second Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that deconstructs buildings and homes, salvaging material and selling it to the public. Their motto is “providing people, materials, and the environment with a second chance,” and they pride themselves on running an environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and financially viable operation.
Second Chance in Baltimore, MD
Environmental sustainability: Second Chance diverts tons of material from the waste stream by re-selling it, decreasing natural resource extraction, lowering energy use, and putting less waste into our landfills.
Social responsibility: In addition to decreasing landfill burden, Second Chance also provides job training and workforce development skills to those in need in the Baltimore area, equipping them with life and vocational skills and instilling self-worth.
Financially viable: The Second Chance business model relies heavily on donations. They offer significant tax advantages to donors and significant savings to customers, with much of the profits going toward creating living wage jobs for those who’ve faced vocational challenges.
Piles and piles of salvaged wood!
Why support Second Chance?
- They are committed to helping people reclaim self-worth through work. Such “green collar jobs” help workers support families and jump into career-track, trade-level jobs in environmentally friendly fields.
- They have a workforce development program that turns trainees into employees, offering warehouse, retail, deconstruction, and supervisor positions to all program graduates.
- They are firmly committed to protecting the environment. As part of the “green economy,” second Chance brings new life to reclaimed materials instead of throwing them in landfills.
- They preserve history. Thousands of historic structures are demolished every year. Second Chance captures architectural history that you can incorporate into your own home or business. They sell high-end, quality items for less than big businesses do…if big businesses sell them items like these at all!
If I haven’t convinced you yet, this place is like what a store baby would look like if Ikea and Goodwill procreated (thanks to a Yelp reviewer for that comparison). That should sell you.
Some pieces have descriptions about where they came from.
Donations are a critical part of the Second Chance mission, so all gifts—monetary or material—are tax deductible. If you’re interested in supporting Second Chance, you can donate through one of the following four ways:
- Grants and private donations (see the Donate Money page).
- Time from local volunteers (see the Donate Time & Talent page).
- Donating items to be sold at the warehouse (see the Donate Material page).
- Funded Deconstruction, a program that gives a property owner generous tax benefits by funding Second Chance to train workers to deconstruct the owner’s buildings (see the Donate a House page).
Stained glass window // Brass rubbing
If you’d just like to shop their selection of salvaged finds, you can do so every day from 9 AM – 5 PM. The Second Chance warehouse is located near the Ravens stadium at 1700 Ridgely Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 (more info here).
A couple things to keep in mind…
- A huge free parking lot is available.
- Check out the store tour video here and print a copy of the warehouse layout map.
- When we visited last week, it was colder than the temperature outside (probably right around freezing). Make sure you bring a coat!
- Check out their store page for a sampling of what’s in the warehouse.
- Follow Second Chance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for updates!