Re-entry Housing: A Community Tool for Transitioning from Prison

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Mecklenburg County, N.C., NC

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About the Program

Category: Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

In addressing stabilizing factors for individuals returning from incarceration, Mecklenburg County (NC) Re-Entry Services has developed a housing program to insulate homeless clients against recidivism. After a three-year pilot program, a formal program with a Resource Coordinator and contracted housing vendors was established in FY2019-2020. Using a two-year reconviction recidivism rate results show that housed clients recidivate at a rate of 10% as compared to rates many times higher in other studies. The program also provided housing during COVID-19 and exemplified the flexibility that often accompanies local government funded programs in response to community challenges. The program is a component of the larger Re-Entry Services program which provides prison in-reach, comprehensive case management, validated risk/needs assessments, vocational and educational supports for employment, and connection to numerous community-based service agencies. The housing program has a network of transitional houses and provides three full months of rental assistance followed by several months of assistance supplementing the client’s rental contribution. Clients are also assisted with applications for benefits through SOAR and referral to permanent housing providers.