Dear Friends,

Another year has whipped right by, and there is so much to share with you about the bright opportunities ahead! Our Impact Report holds countless highlights from 2021 and if you follow us on social media, you know that butter skyrocketed in price, and has now doubled since this time last year. The impact of inflation is extremely difficult on small organizations; those of us that were able to keep our doors open through the initial impact of Covid in 2020 and 2021 are now facing the struggles of rebalancing our budgets so that we may continue to prioritize providing essential services for those who need them most. But let’s not get stuck in the butter, there is good news too! As we increased the program capacity last year, we landed on a 3:1 student to instructor ratio that assures the quality training, coaching, and support services that create our exceptional outcomes. Just in case you don’t know, 100% of our interns do not recidivate and 85% remain in long-term recovery. Our success rate is 76% higher than the state’s for recidivism and 61% higher for long-term recovery. It is no wonder that we’ve captured the interest of state policymakers and the Governor’s office! Additionally, with our program growth, we reached our maximum occupancy and are now looking at new facility opportunities in the area so that we may expand our training employment for the folks whose applications continue to flood in from the prison, county jail, and recovery centers.

In December, we submitted our first grant to the state – we were asked to apply after presenting the exceptional outcomes of our program at the JRI (Justice Reinvestment Initiative) review! We are just the hope that the state is looking for, and we encouraged the JRI leadership to expand funding to include programs like Flourish in the years ahead. As you will soon see, this past year opened many doors for Flourish at the state level and we are now asking for an appropriation from the legislature this session to support our facility expansion.

Now, if that isn’t exciting enough, Flourish will turn five this April! I continue to say, we are at a unique intersection in the growth of our organization. If we had started more than five years ago, our growth would likely have looked very different because the focus was on funding treatment centers. Today, all around us is the evidence that treatment alone is not sufficient. It is the bridge that Flourish provides that is the key to transformation. True transformation means changing the systems in which we operate and addressing the root causes of substance misuse. The Flourish program, in unity with our community partners, does just that. We just happen to be at the right place, at the right time, with the best solution to the issues. The year ahead is going to be exciting! The opportunities and growth for Flourish will take our start-up to the next level. Thank you for joining us year after year for the exciting evolution of hope in our community!

Signature of Aimee Altizer

Aimee Altizer, Executive Director

P.S. In 2021, Flourish changed its fiscal year to allow our team to focus on year-end financial duties at a different time than our busy holiday production season. This impact report reflects that change and features our work from January-September 2021.

Meet the Staff & Board

Flourish Staff


Rev. Aimee Altizer

Executive Director

Sam Ball

Operations & Program Manager/
Recovery Coach

Amber Billingsley

Pastry Chef Instructor

Holly Jefferies

Business Administrator & Volunteer Coordinator

Jacey Thornton

Development & Communications Fellow

Nicole Torney

Bakery Production

Sarah Vogel

Communications & Social Media Manager

Shauna Wiest

Development & Grants Manager

Erin Wollschleger

Assisting Instructor & Production Manager

Shaunell Young

Program Development

Flourish Board & Advisory Board Members


Rev. Sandra Jones

Board Chair

Patricia Fava

Secretary

Ted Clayton

Treasurer

Blake Hannon

Amy Leininger

Gail McBride

Dave Merhi

Diane Terribile

Ed Turner

Jay Weaver

Advocacy & Community Engagement

The interns that come to Flourish were not led to substance use disorder and incarceration on their own. They have known the impact of childhood trauma, the challenges of an education system that turns it’s back on those who learn differently, and the short side of justice. They live in a society that often criminalizes “difficult” children, undervalues mental health, and punishes justice-involved individuals by limiting access to jobs, education, and housing.

At Flourish, we want to address the root causes of relapse and recidivism, and work with policymakers to fix broken systems so that we can give more people the opportunity to begin again. That’s why we made advocacy a focus area in 2021.

 

 

At the center of this work is relationship building. To start, we met with leaders from the Utah Department of Corrections, United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, and the Salt Lake County Jail and shared how our program works and why it’s an invaluable “middle space” for those seeking long-term recovery. Flourish’s staff and interns also participated in a legislative listening panel on Utah’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) and shared how our program is addressing one of JRI’s key goals: to improve and expand re-entry and treatment services.

 

We also invited government officials to visit Flourish, meet our interns, and see first-hand how our program is making a difference. Our guests in 2021 included representatives from the Utah Departments of Health, Higher Education System, Juvenile Justice Services, and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. We also welcomed staff from U.S. Senator Mike Lee’s Office, and Utah’s Lieutenant Governor Deirdre Henderson toured Flourish in August. In addition, Utah Governor Spencer Cox joined our interns for a dinner where they shared their stories and expressed how they believe the state government could help more people receive the second chances they deserve.

Lastly, Flourish collaborated with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) in 2021 to become a Registered Apprenticeship Program in baking and pastry. Each Flourish graduate will now receive a national, industry-­recognized credential in this field. Flourish is also the DOL’s only apprenticeship program for formerly incarcerated populations in long-term recovery in the Western United States.

 

Another integral part of advocacy is community engagement. In 2021, Flourish focused on expanding our reach into the greater community to share our story - and our baked goods - with individuals and organizations in our region. Examples of the activities include:

  • Establishing a community garden at Flourish with support from Wasatch Community Gardens and sponsorship from Slow Food Utah.
  • Sponsoring a Soap2Hope fundraiser with funds our interns donated from tips received at the storefront and farmer's markets.
  • Participating in a fundraiser of Charity Vision in partnership with Traeger Grills.
  • Providing cookies for Utah Pride Center staff and volunteers for Pride Week and National Coming Out Day.
  • Building a relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Transitional Services Office.
  • Developing a signature Pie and Beer Day pairing menu with Epic Brewing Company.

Another element of this focus was securing new grant funding from funders whose interests align with our work. As a result of these efforts, Flourish saw a 94% increase in grant awards in 2021, including two grants from Intermountain Healthcare totaling $48,850. There are also new partnerships in place with organizations including PBS Utah, Red Butte Garden, KUER, and the Utah Prisoner Advocate Network. Flourish’s volunteers continued to play an invaluable role in our work. In 2021, our volunteers gave 924 hours and saved us $11,088 in service and support of our mission.

 


Internship Program

Flourish’s internship program nearly doubled in size in 2021. Our team includes seven interns who brought unique talents and experiences to our community. Sean recently completed his Chef of the Day assessment and is pursuing an externship at a recovery organization. Rachel and Shelby will soon join him as Flourish program graduates.

In 2021, we continued offering daily reflections, weekly writing circles, and fitness classes with Warrior Strength to our interns. We also welcomed AAA Fair Credit Foundation to Flourish in the summer for an in-person workshop with our interns.

We continue to refine our internship program modules and are developing badges that interns can earn in areas like mindfulness, community service, and physical fitness. With generous grants from the Daniels Fund and the Mary Alice and Bennett Brown Foundation, Flourish also implemented a formal data collection initiative this fall to track program performance, baseline, and outcome data for our interns. This initiative will help ensure that Flourish develops programs that meet our interns’ needs and ultimately help decrease rates of relapse and recidivism statewide.

 


 

Seven interns in 2021

 

8,106 hours of training in 2021

 

$81,702.63 paid to Interns in 2021

 

100% Recidivism Rate. No Flourish interns returned to jail.

 

85% of Flourish interns retain sobriety.

Alumni Spotlight


Dennis Sisneros

In August, we were excited to celebrate Dennis Sisneros’ graduation from Flourish’s internship program! Dennis joined Flourish in 2019 after spending 10 years in Federal prison, and almost 40 years in his addiction. It has been a joy to watch Dennis blossom, in spite of COVID-19.

During his time at Flourish, Dennis celebrated “Getting Off Paper,” meaning he successfully completed Federal parole. He also rented his own apartment and rebuilt the relationships with his children, grandchildren, and extended family that were broken by addiction and incarceration.

Dennis now works at Harmon’s Grocery Stores as an artisan bread baker and lives in long-term recovery. He is also a “Flourish Ambassador.” In this role, Dennis will serve as a mentor to new interns and share his Flourish experience with members of the greater community.

Graphs showing 2021 Income Highlights

Thank you to our donors whose support
helped us expand Flourish’s impact in 2021.

Things You Can Do Now to Support Flourish

Donate: Your generosity helps people transform their lives.
Visit flourishslc.networkforgood.com to donate.

Shop: Purchase with purpose and buy specialty baked goods that help create opportunities for people to begin again. Visit flourishslc.org.

Volunteer: Give your time and become part of our community.
flourishslc.org/pages/get-involved.

Share Our Mission: Follow and tag us on social media with the #flourishslc hashtag.


Membership Logos & Links