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Homeless Services 101: What Reentry Service Providers Need to Know

Hosted by the National Reentry Resource Center, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance

People returning to communities from jail or prison often face numerous barriers to securing stable, affordable housing. Many people who were formerly involved with the justice system are not able to return to families. Landlords are frequently unwilling to rent to anyone with a criminal record, especially for certain offenses. Access to public housing is also limited for many people returning from incarceration. Additionally, other collateral consequences of incarceration—such as trouble finding employment—can negatively impact a person’s chances of finding stable housing.

Accessing stable, affordable housing is vital to successful reentry. Individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to be arrested than those who are stably housed, and people with criminal records are more likely to become homeless than those without. Those who exit jail or prison to emergency shelters or the streets are more likely to re-offend. This relationship between homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system is frequently complicated by mental and behavioral health concerns. In this webinar, presenters:

  • Cover some basic facts about homelessness, and how homelessness intersects with the criminal justice system;
  • Discuss potential solutions to homelessness, and how homeless services and access to temporary and supportive housing are delivered through local Department of Housing and Urban Development-funded Continuums of Care (CoCs); and
  • Discuss how reentry service providers can work better with their local CoCs, and how to better serve people experiencing homelessness or risk of homelessness.

Additional Resources:

Panelists:

  • Kim Keaton, Senior Program Manager, Government Affairs & Innovation, CSH 
  • Jayme Day, Director for Individual Homeless Adults, National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Mary Owens, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

Moderator:

  • Maureen Richey, Policy Analyst, The Council of State Governments Justice Center