With the help of a local nonprofit group, Ramirus Cobbs is getting his life back in order.

After spending time in jail for trespassing and drug possession, Cobbs is participating in the county’s collaborative Breaking Barriers program, which aims to break the cycle recidivism.

Cobbs gained employment as a street cleaner through Chrysalis, an employment assistance organization with roots in Santa Monica.

On April 15 at 12 p.m., Chrysalis is launching a free speaker series to explain to donors and supporters how its efforts support homeless and low-income people throughout Los Angeles County. The inaugural discussion, which will be held at the agency’s Santa Monica center at 1853 Lincoln Blvd., will focus on the aforementioned Breaking Barriers program.

“What we’re trying to do is give some of our donors and supporters an opportunity to come down to our center, learn about aspects of our program and talk about issues that our community is faced with when it comes to the cycles of poverty and what someone who is experiencing homelessness is facing when they’re looking for a job,” said Mallory Loring, a communications manager at Chrysalis. “This is a great way to open the doors.”

Launched last year by probation and health services officials, Breaking Barriers is a rapid re-housing and case management program that involves multiple agencies. Chrysalis, which is helping with employment services, is one piece of the puzzle as civic and nonprofit leaders work to address homelessness in the region.

“Breaking Barriers is L.A. County’s pilot program that is bringing together two important pieces to the puzzle, access to housing and jobs,” Chrysalis CEO Mark Loranger said. “When we talk about criminal justice reform, it is important to focus on these solutions and how to end or prevent cycles of recidivism.”

There were more than 44,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County last year, figures show, including roughly 735 in Santa Monica. Thirty percent of the clients at the Chrysalis center in Santa Monica are veterans, Loring said.

Chrysalis has helped more than 53,000 people find work since 1984, according to Loring. It assists more than 4,000 homeless and low-income people with employment searches each year, and more than 2,000 clients secured jobs in 2014.

The nonprofit helps people find employment depending on their background, skills and experiences. New clients must be sober for 30 days prior to starting with Chrysalis and motivated to work. Clients who are homeless or unstably housed are referred to agencies that provide housing.

“That’s a first step,” Loring said. “Think about being homeless and trying to conduct a job search.”

Some selected Chrysalis clients work transitional jobs that the nonprofit helps them secure. It has a contract with Downtown Santa Monica, for example, and employs people as sweepers in the area around Third Street Promenade.

“It’s not meant to be forever,” Loring said. “But it can be that kind of game-changer, and it gives them the opportunity to build up their resume and gain job experience. It’s an opportunity to get on their feet. It makes so much of a difference.”

To sign up for the upcoming speaker series event, email RSVP@ChangeLives.org. For more information, call 310-401-9391.

jeff@www.smdp.com