Promising Practices - below are examples of housing or corrections programs that are targeting housing resources or improving policies for people with criminal records or who are reentering the community to obtain safe, accessible and stable housing.
State of Colorado
The Colorado Center on Law and Poverty created a new resource www.remerg.com a website dedicated to helping anyone involved in the criminal justice system in Colorado. Remerg.com is free for everyone to use, whether they’re on parole, probation, or just getting out of jail or prison without access to help. Remerg.com is also a free tool for anyone who works with this population, whether a parole officer, probation officer, case manager, nonprofit employee, friend or family member.
new orleans, Louisiana
The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) in 2016 removed their policy to screen out potential tenants with criminal records. The new policy states that, "There is absolutely no presumption that an applicant with a criminal conviction should be denied housing assistance. Before making a decision to admit or deny applicants with criminal convictions, they shall be given an individualized review based on accurate information, including notice and opportunity to be heard." Link to more information.
state of washington
The Offender Reentry Community Safety (ORCS) program assists mentally ill offenders being released from prison into the community. Participants will continue to receive services for up to five years, which includes medical assistance, substance abuse treatment, and housing assistance. Link to more information.
King County, Washington
The King County Housing Authority (KCHA) agreed to provide project-based Section 8 vouchers for 46-unit transitional housing development. Participants can stay between 18 and 24 months, and can transition to conventional public housing without additional screening. Parents who are reuniting with children are eligible, and the YMCA provides life and parenting skills classes as well as job search assistance.
Burlington Housing Authority (BHA) provides a housing specialist that assists parolees locate private or subsidized housing. They can make recommendations to the Director of Rental Assistance for a parolee to join family member in an existing Section 8 voucher despite his or her criminal record. They also offers classes on budgeting, relationship building with landlords and neighbors, life skills, and crisis prevention and resolution.
SE Works and the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) offers up to 18 months of rental assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals. Participants can use the rental assistance in transitional or permanent housing. SE Works intends to serve 20 individuals per year. Link to more information.
new york city, New york
The Fortune Society (Fortune) is a New York State emergency and transitional supportive housing provider offering exclusively to the vulnerable and hard-to-serve criminal justice population. They provide a supportive alternative to homelessness and incarceration that helps people live within the larger community, at roughly the cost of a bed at the City shelters. Link to more information.
New York City Housing Authority Family Re-entry Pilot Program is a two-year pilot program that aims to help formerly incarcerated people by reuniting them with their families in public housing. The goal will be to eventually add these people to their family’s public housing lease. Link to more information.
SPAN, INC. uses a personalized combination of case management, health services, career development, and counseling support, to help clients reintegrate into their communities. Clients in some Span programs may also have access to short-term rental assistance depending on qualifications and the availability of funds.
The Harris County Mental Health Jail Diversion Program is a program that provides comprehensive services, including housing and supportive services like Critical Time Intervention (CTI) to individuals with 3 or more bookings within the last 2 years who also have a mental illness, with or without co-occurring substance use disorder. Link to more information.
Los Angeles county, California
Just in Reach (JIR) is a program that connects chronically homeless persons who are also frequently incarcerated with permanent supportive housing. This program is available to those incarcerated 3 times over 3 years or have had 3 episodes of homelessness in 5 years. Link to more information.
Empowering People Illuminating Change (EPIC) is a six month re-entry program for those recently released and on parole. Participants may receive substance abuse treatment, anger management, and employment training. Housing options include transitional, short-term and application assistance for Permanent Supportive Housing, Affordable Housing, VASH or Section 8 vouchers. Link to more information.
state of ohio
Returning Home Ohio (RHO) is a program in 5+ communities across Ohio that provides supportive housing to individuals with a disability who were homeless at the time of arrest or who are at risk of homelessness upon release. Individuals in the program must be diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness or be diagnosed with HIV. Link to more information.
Cuyahoga county, Ohio
FrontLine Service is a program that provides comprehensive and gender specific services to incarcerated women who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. FrontLine service provides emergency shelters, transitional and permanent supportive housing, and substance abuse support programs. Link to more information.
Open Door program, operated by YMCA, reserves two floors of public housing in the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority for males 18 years or older who have recently been released from prison. Participants can stay in the housing for up to 18 months. Link to more information.
St. Leonard’s Ministries Grace House is a small residential program that provides interim housing to women exiting the Illinois prison system. The programs includes job training, counseling, substance abuse treatment, and assistance in finding permanent housing after their exit from the program. Link to more information.
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) sets aside 200 tenant-based Section 8 vouchers for participants who are chronically homeless and enrolled in the Ex-Offender program. Participants will receive supportive services through the Housing First Program.
Please share with us any programs that provide housing to persons with criminal records or who are reentering from prisons or jails by completing the form below.