Reentry Program, Harriet's House
I had crossed the line of which I had so long been dreaming. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom.
- Harriet Tubman
Harriet's House was developed to make sure that as people experience freedom from prison, there is someone there to WELCOME them with open arms and open hearts.
The Harriet's House Reentry Program is a highly successful, nationally recognized reentry program for women. In 2004, the Harriet’s House reentry program was awarded the Families Count, Families Strengthening Award by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Also, in 2004, Harriet’s House was cited as an example program in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Guide for Developing Housing for Ex-Offenders. Most recently, in 2009, the National Criminal Justice Association selected Harriet’s House as the Outstanding Criminal Justice Program in the Southern Region.
Harriet's House is a 24-month program that offers women leaving prison the opportunity to successfully re-enter the community. We offer comprehensive services including intensive wrap-around case management, family reunification, budgeting (credit, debit, savings), peer support, parenting classes, substance abuse counseling (AA/NA), employment planning & support, and permanent affordable housing.
By the Numbers
The majority of adults that participate in Harriet's House experience an increase in income, employment opportunities, savings, budgeting skills, and maintaining permanent housing. Since 1996, Harriet’s House has served approximately 120 ex-offender families with an 80-85% success rate, or a 15-20% recidivism rate. Over the past three years (July 2005-June 2008), a total of 158 people (79 women, 79 children) have been served by Harriet’s House. In this period, of the women that have left the program, an average of:
- 75% were able to maintain employment and/or increase income,
- 71% established a savings account for at least six months,
- 77% followed a budget and maintained family goals for a minimum of six months, and
- 74% who left for permanent housing were able to maintain it for at least six months.
Phases of the Program
- Intake-begins 3 months prior to release:
- Women are referred by prison Social Worker (must have custody of children and no child abuse charges).
- Intake and Assessment: Face to Face interview and psychological assessment.
- Acceptance letter and release date: Case Manager or PPO (Parole/Probation Officer) will pick up the woman at facility and bring her to the HH site.
Phase I: Supervised Living (first 6 months)
- Clustered community living approach where women live together in shared, supervised living quarters.
- Case Manager works on site.
- Women acquire employment and begin a budgeting program
- If required, women will complete a GED program and or acquire new skills through on the job training or voc rehab.
- Participate in Mental Health counseling, Substance Abuse therapeutic sessions, and Parenting groups.
- Random urine screens, curfew checks.
- Begin weekend visits with child/children increasing to longer times of visit.
Phase II: Transitional Living (6-12 months)
- Clustered community but women live in their own unit with children under their supervision.
- Children reunited with mothers and participating in community activities, attending and thriving in school, attending family and individual counseling sessions as necessary.
- Housing analysis determines type of permanent housing needed for independent living.
- Monthly housing inspections-random urine tests-continued case management.
Phase III: Community Living (6 months)
- Family secures permanent, affordable housing;
- Living on her own, in a permanent housing unit, fully employed;
- Continued support and connections with decreasing case management;
- Fully employed, learns to navigate within the community and peer networks.
Phase IV: Aftercare (6 months)
- Living in permanent housing - women monitored in all areas of previous Phases.
- Clients in this stage should be managing all areas such as:
- Finances (paying rent in a timely manner, maintaining savings account)
- Staying clean and sober
- Maintaining employment
Success Story: An Audio Documentary
Tanya Ward: A Triumph Over Addiction from Lisa Albert on Vimeo.
Harriet's House received the "Outstanding Criminal Justice Program" award from the National Criminal Justice Association in 2009.