Ohio:  Preventing Homelessness Among Reentering Prisoners

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Best Practice | August 18, 2006

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections will create the Ohio Community-Oriented Reentry (CORE) Project, a partnership of the Department and various service agencies to address the various challenges of reentry. The CORE program will work by linking offenders to services in the community that correspond to the services received in the institution, creating a continuity of treatment. State and local collaboration will be emphasized.
 
Target Population:
 
This initiative will target serious, violent, chronic, high-risk, and high-need adult offenders who are returning to Ohio's two largest urban areas--Cuyahoga and Franklin Counties--and the suburban/rural area of Allen County. These three CORE counties are regions where economic and social disadvantages currently present obstacles to successful reentry. The grant proposal identifies a potential of 3,885 offenders to be released to the CORE communities between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2005. Out of these, approximately 600 offenders will be served by the grant.
 
Program Description:  
Family counseling for the offenders and their families will begin as soon as the offender is sentenced, to ensure that they have a home to return to upon release. The Department's community partners are currently looking for grants for reentry housing contracts. These contracts would negotiate with reentry housing providers, offering incentives to house ex-offenders.
There is also a plan to have scattered site apartments for offenders. A key component of the reentry plan is to educate the community and landlord associations about the importance of housing ex-offenders. The landlord associations will also be approached in the hopes of a first month's rent deferral for ex-offenders.
The Department is working with HUD officials to try to resolve current legislation that often bars offenders from utilizing public housing. Other partners include Ohio's Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
There will also be negotiations with local community shelter boards in hopes of securing emergency housing or assisted living and housing. Among the housing organizations presently involved are the Community Shelter Board, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Friends of the Homeless, Inc., and Restore our Community Village Outreach Project.
Funding:
The Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections will receive $1,998,014 from the Department of Justice for their CORE project.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Angi Lee
(740) 852-2454 x 1092