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Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Housing Innovation Marketplace January, 2011 Heather Armstrong Community Corrections Improvement Association.

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Presentation on theme: "Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Housing Innovation Marketplace January, 2011 Heather Armstrong Community Corrections Improvement Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Housing Innovation Marketplace January, 2011 Heather Armstrong Community Corrections Improvement Association

2 Re-entry Housing: Problem or CRISIS? At the end of 2009 there were 1.6 million (1/199 US residents) prisoners being held in State & Federal corrections facilities. Over 95% of these will be released to their community at some point. At the end of 2009 there were 1.6 million (1/199 US residents) prisoners being held in State & Federal corrections facilities. Over 95% of these will be released to their community at some point. In 2009 there were 729,295 offenders released from State/Federal prison (20% increase from 2000). In 2009 there were 729,295 offenders released from State/Federal prison (20% increase from 2000). According to a study by the Vera Institute of Justice, people released from prison and jail to parole who entered homeless shelters in New York City were seven times more likely to abscond during the first month after release than those who had some form of housing. According to a study by the Vera Institute of Justice, people released from prison and jail to parole who entered homeless shelters in New York City were seven times more likely to abscond during the first month after release than those who had some form of housing.

3 Housing challenges faced by ex-offenders released into the community Rejection from friends and families Rejection from friends and families Refusal by private landlords Refusal by private landlords Intensive screening from affordable housing providers: Intensive screening from affordable housing providers: It is the policy that even those with lesser, non- violent charges (ex: 4 th /5 th degree theft) are ineligible for our community’s low-income housing for one year after conviction. It is the policy that even those with lesser, non- violent charges (ex: 4 th /5 th degree theft) are ineligible for our community’s low-income housing for one year after conviction. Those with drug charges are ineligible for five years. Those with drug charges are ineligible for five years.

4 Challenges, cont…. According to HUD rules, being in an institution of any kind and not having a home to be released to is not considered being homeless. According to HUD rules, being in an institution of any kind and not having a home to be released to is not considered being homeless. Unfortunately, many ex-offenders are “coming home” straight to emergency shelters and the street.

5 Some problems these challenges create: They are unable to find suitable, permanent housing They are unable to find suitable, permanent housing Absence of stable housing is a leading predictor for future violent crime Absence of stable housing is a leading predictor for future violent crime They are unable to reunite with their families They are unable to reunite with their families Leads them to live in undesirable and (many times) unsafe environments Leads them to live in undesirable and (many times) unsafe environments Limits the quality of treatment services and supervision available to them Limits the quality of treatment services and supervision available to them Restricts access to valuable resources and services to the family Restricts access to valuable resources and services to the family

6 What does the public want? Safety from violent crime Safety from violent crime Offender to be accountable Offender to be accountable Damage to be repaired Damage to be repaired Treatment for offender Treatment for offender Involvement in decision making Involvement in decision making Fiscal responsibility & cooperation Fiscal responsibility & cooperation

7 CCIA / CHI Partnership Community Housing Initiatives (CHI): “create partnerships with … private and public sectors in order to enhance peoples’ lives … through the development … of affordable housing” Community Corrections Improvement Association (CCIA): “to establish and embrace pro-active programs that break the cycle of dysfunction for the family”

8 Home to Stay Complex A four building, 24-unit apartment complex Six 1-bedroom units Six 1-bedroom units Six 2-bedroom units Six 2-bedroom units Ten 3-bedroom units Ten 3-bedroom units Two 4-bedroom units Two 4-bedroom units 2,500 square foot community service building 2,500 square foot community service building Large community room with kitchen, conference room, computer lab & restrooms Large community room with kitchen, conference room, computer lab & restrooms Three offices for supportive service staff, including a probation/parole officer Three offices for supportive service staff, including a probation/parole officer Building permits visibility to all tenant dwelling entrances, main property entrance and secured play area Building permits visibility to all tenant dwelling entrances, main property entrance and secured play area

9 Home to Stay Program Home to Stay targets families with children who have a member re-entering the community from a correctional facility or with a criminal record that excludes them from other low-income housing. Comprehensive supportive service family plan is designed for each family unit and referrals made to appropriate service providers. Probation/Parole officer on site to provide immediate access to services/supervision and an additional level of security for tenants.

10 Benefits Family unit stays together Family unit stays together Cost is less for entire family than what they pay to stay in the correctional facility Cost is less for entire family than what they pay to stay in the correctional facility Family unit is able to receive support and wrap-around services including treatment programs, workforce development, parenting classes, child care, etc. Family unit is able to receive support and wrap-around services including treatment programs, workforce development, parenting classes, child care, etc. Safe and structured setting with probation offices on site Safe and structured setting with probation offices on site

11 First Year Challenges No history of stable housing No history of stable housing Accountability / trust Accountability / trust Rental/Utility deposits Rental/Utility deposits

12 Strategies Re-entry process beginning as early as months prior to release Re-entry process beginning as early as months prior to release Assess needs and work with family/community/offender Assess needs and work with family/community/offender Halfway house to work release to parole Halfway house to work release to parole Banking system Banking system Program participation Program participation

13 Funding for Home to Stay was provided by: City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services Hall-Perrine Foundation Hall-Perrine Foundation Iowa Department of Economic Development Iowa Department of Economic Development Iowa Finance Authority Iowa Finance Authority Midwest Housing Equity Group Midwest Housing Equity Group

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