What Are My Options? Housing After Incarceration

Housing is a common roadblock on the journey to successful reentry. There are four types of housing that are available to returning citizens after incarceration.

People are often released from incarceration with no address to return to, and temporary court-ordered residential arrangements. Preventing homelessness is one of the many reasons that we strive to assist our participants with job placement and overall self-sufficiency. The four most common housing options for returning citizens are as follows:

  1. PUBLIC HOUSING: Public housing options exist with the intention to serve the most vulnerable people who could otherwise not afford or access housing on their own. Public housing is often secured for returning citizens by social workers and/or parole officers.

  2. PRIVATE HOUSING: Private housing includes independent living options like private landlords, living with friends or family, roommates/group living. Private housing arrangements often require returning citizens to become financially responsible immediately upon release. Reentry programs are a great resource for people who need to secure employment in order to fulfill financial costs in private living quarters.

  3. SUPPORTIVE HOUSING: A supportive housing program is a residential arrangement coupled with supportive services like case management. This is a great option for incarcerated youth who are released as adults and need guidance with becoming self-sufficient.

  4. TRANSITIONAL HOUSING: These arrangements include halfway houses, transitional housing, residential reentry centers, etc., and are often mandated by a court upon release. Transitional housing can be preventative for individuals who need to address mental health issues or addictions before living independently. Residential reentry centers are an excellent choice for returning citizens who need to pursue reentry in an environment that is conducive to their well-being with on-site support and necessary resources in place.

Homelessness for returning citizens can be reduced with funding and assistance from our government. We hope that the American government establishes sustainable housing options for returning citizens in every city and state so that as people are released from incarceration, they have a fair chance to establish self-sufficiency in a safe and cost-effective environment.

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