Hiring movers can be a daunting task because it's expensive—you have to plan and be able to trust who you hire. Would you hire a felon or an alcoholic or substance abuser to move your boxes? I don't think I'd do it, unless it were a crew from The Other Side Movers. Who are these new kids on the block?
The Other Side Academy has just opened in Salt Lake City in the historic Armstrong Mansion at 667 E. 100 South. It's a nonprofit group similar to a very famously successful organization called the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, as well as in New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Massachusetts. It's a two-year, live-in educational program for ex-cons, drug abusers, homeless and other folk that teaches residents how to live successful, productive lives free from crime and substance abuse.
"Even though you might dread moving, you will love that you are doing good by helping save lives of those who once were lost, and you will be thrilled at the professional quality of our service. We do good work while doing good works."
—Delancey Street staff
Delancey Street is run by ex-cons and ex-addicts and has trained people to become teachers, general contractors and truck drivers. It owns several businesses where clients work: a café and restaurant, a print shop, moving and trucking jobs, paratransit, landscaping, Christmas tree sales and decorating. The Other Side Academy could end up having the same success in Utah if potential clients understand the concept and support the cause.
"Even though you might dread moving, you will love that you are doing good by helping save lives of those who once were lost, and you will be thrilled at the professional quality of our service. We do good work while doing good works," say the staff.
Proceeds from the fees charged for moving go directly to the house to feed and clothe those rebuilding their lives. Academy clients pay no fees. Most astonishing is the fact that The Other Side doesn't take any government funds. Best-selling Mormon author Joseph Grennyand and business partner Tim Stay have chosen four felons to help create and lead the program here, with David Durocher as managing director. Durocher was arrested at the age of 13, spent 15 years in prison over four stays and ended up becoming the managing director of a Delancey Street facility with 250 residents. Other alumni of Delancey will join him: Alan Fahringer, Lola Zagey and Martin Anderson
Imagine how hard it is to be an addict and being lucky enough to land temporary housing. But try getting a job as a convicted felon with little job experience. The odds of success are pathetically low, so kudos to these people who want to help in our city, our state. Call 801-784-8466.