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The Faces of Fair Chances: Sithy Bin's Story

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

At the re-launch event of LA County’s Fair Chance Hiring Initiative, we unveiled an art installation by photographer Brandon Tauszik with portraits of several Los Angeles system-impacted individuals.

Sithy Bin sitting on his desk at work in the offices of Friends Outside LA
Courtesy of TaskForce - Photo by Brandon Tauszik

“Employers should hire system-impacted folks because of that fire, that passion, that second chance, and their ability to apply what they learned and are equipped with.”

- Sithy Bin

Every year, more than 60,000 individuals return from incarceration in LA County, looking to start anew. This is the story of Sithy Bin, Case Manager, Friends Outside LA who’s been home for 2 ½ years.

Sithy Bin’s compassion and drive to help others started while he was incarcerated and have grown exponentially since. Sithy doesn’t just work in his 9–5 role as a case manager at Friends Outside LA. Among his many commitments, he mentors groups on the weekends, is a ministry coordinator at Testimony Ministries, and is the proud co-founder of The Made New Foundation. The list goes on for Sithy, and he shows no sign of slowing down. He is fueled by the growth of others and wants to promote peace and non-violence in his communities. “One way to get rid of violence, gangs, guns, and drugs, and all that, is to employ the people in the community,” he says. “To have a better community, the people in the community, the marginalized people, definitely need to have access to employment.”

While in prison, Sithy first learned about Friends Outside and the opportunities they create for formerly incarcerated individuals. He had experience leading groups on the inside, and this allowed him to jump in quickly and thrive in this role when he started at the organization. “That's one thing I love about this job–we have so many success stories,” Sithy says. “So many, and it just feels good to see them.”

Sithy with his supervisor Sonia, from Friends Outside LA, out for a stroll
Courtesy of TaskForce - Photo by Brandon Tauszik
“I've learned so much from system-impacted individuals, their life experiences. They just honestly bring a different type of wisdom, a different type of perspective that only they can bring.”

- Sonia Bell, Program Manager, Friends Outside LA and Sithy Bin’s Supervisor

As a program manager at Friends Outside LA, Sonia Bell experiences a level of enthusiasm and empathy from her team that she hasn’t experienced in other work environments. She has built her current team with people who had the lived experiences of the people they were serving, and it has changed the whole attitude of her work environment. “They bring the intuition, the knowledge and the skills that the job requires.” She adds that her teammates who were formerly incarcerated bring energy to their roles which strengthens the positive work environment. Coming from other jobs in social work, Sonia remembers working with colleagues who, in their 30s, were already dreaming of retirement.

Sonia speaks highly of her employee Sithy Bin and the passion he has for this work. He connects with his clients quickly and meets them where they are, without judgment. “Every training opportunity there is, he signs up for it. He's in three trainings at once, and he's hungry for knowledge,” she says. “And he also applies it to his job, and it makes him a better case manager.” Sonia notes his thoughtful work has translated into growth for the organization: “You can tell by how the clients feel. They come back, and they refer clients.”

Don't miss out on hiring incredible “ready to work” fair-chance employees like Sithy–who are waiting to contribute to your company's success. Join the LA County Fair Chance Hiring Initiative and become a pledged LA County Fair Chance Hiring employer today!

Courtesy of TaskForce - Photo by Brandon Tauszik

*Portraits in this post were taken by Brandon Tauszik, with stories compiled by Alisha Jucevik.


Brian Stewart, MPP, MDR Manager, Stakeholder Engagement LeadersUp

Brian Stewart, MPP, MDR

Manager, Stakeholder Engagement


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