Gowanus Business That Rehabilitates Ex-Cons With Furniture Making Seeks to Expand

    by

    In response to the nation’s troubled prison system and the disturbingly high rates of repeat arrests for released prisoners, local Brooklynites Cisco Pinedo and Tommy Safian have founded Refoundry — an appreciation of all people and things once lost and now found.

    Intentionally created beyond the government imposed funding restrictions for organizations attempting to help reduce recidivism, Refoundry helps ex-cons refurbish found materials into home furnishings, simultaneously refurbishing their lives.

    Using secondhand objects, much of it trash, Refoundry encourages the formerly incarcerated to follow entrepreneurial instincts with their furniture making so they can be self sufficient once they graduate from the yearlong, $30,000 program.

    Refoundry Kickstarter

    Co-founders Cisco Pinedo (left) and Tommy Safian

    Safian’s and Cisco’s goal is to impart their longtime business and maker experience to the ex-cons so they may reach a place where they are self sustaining,

    The not-for-profit currently functions out of a 500-square-foot workspace in Gowanus at 69 9th Street, but they’re looking to grow.

    Refoundry is seeking to rent a larger space and expand the program, as well as creating a model for other organizations to replicate.

    To fund their growth, they’ve started Kickstarter campaign which, with under a week to go, has already surpassed its goal of $45,000.

    Refoundry Kickstarter

    [Photos: Refoundry]

    Related Stories
    7 Fastest-Growing Businesses in Brooklyn (Updated)
    MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Company, Moves R&D Team Back to Downtown
    Indie Media Camp Highlights the Art and Craft of the Digital Era

    What's Happening