Isaac Slevin, Kevin Brown, Kevin Woods, Daryl Pierce and Oliver Ruff at the SAFER Foundation’s mobile service center, parked in the Civic Center lot on July 28.

With a different job but the same dedication to restoring marginalized people to mainstream living, Kevin Brown accompanied representatives of the SAFER Foundation this week to Ingraham Park, located directly behind the Lorraine Morton Civic Center.

Mr. Brown, the former manager of the City’s Youth and Young Adult Programs and current Project Administrator at J.P. organ Chase’s Second Chance Hiring Project, helped distribute information about the SAFER Foundation.

Established in 1972, the SAFER Foundation offers support such as workforce training and development and mental health counseling to people who are re-entering society from jail or prison.

Its mission is “To support, through a full spectrum of services, the efforts of people with arrest & conviction records to become employed, law-abiding members of the community and, as a result, reduce recidivism.”

With such services, Mr. Brown says, the Foundation is “very holistic about changing public policy around re-entry.”

Kevin Woods, Community Organizer/Outreach Coordinator for the SAFER Foundation, said he and colleague Daryl Pierce came to Evanston with their mobile van with two purposes in mind: to begin to build relationships with not-for-profits here and to promote voter registration.

“We met a lot of good people,” he said.

Recent Evanston Township High School graduate, who is a summer intern at the City Clerk’s office, offered voter registration.

Oliver Ruff, a member of OPAL (Organization for Positive Action and Leadership) said he supported the SAFER Foundation. “It’s an opportunity to re-educate [people who have been incarcerated] into society.”


Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...