The Way Home: Lane County Reentry Collaborative
Lane County in partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) & US Department of Justice (DOJ), has launched the first Housing First Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) effort in the county to support formerly incarcerated, homeless Oregonians who are at high risk of recidivating.
Oregonians released from incarceration into Lane County with a high risk of recidivating do so at a rate of approximately 30% within three years of release, with over 50% suffering from housing instability and all experiencing high utilization of cost intensive healthcare and emergency room services. Using the Housing First model, Lane County strives to permanently house and provide comprehensive case management to formerly incarcerated individuals in need of housing through a combination of existing Low Income Tax Credit units, Public Housing units and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. The track record of the local housing and service provider is stellar: 60% reduction in recidivism (defined as an incarceration due to felony conviction) and more appropriate uses of preventative healthcare are achieved with stable housing and case management services (substance abuse treatment, job training, and mental health services).
The Way Home (TWH) project is led by Lane County Homes for Good, the county housing agency overseeing a 3,000-unit Section 8 program and 1,600 units of public housing and project based Section 8 units; Lane County Parole & Probation (P&P), a division of Lane County Administration that oversees +2,500 adult on supervision and related programming; and Sponsors, Inc., the leading community organization in Lane County, providing reentry, housing, and employment services to over 500 clients per year for over 40 years. Their collaborative effort strives to expand limited funding opportunities to serve high needs populations and better serve clients with overlapping justice, homelessness and healthcare use.
Case management from Sponsors, Homes for Good, and P&P will serve 125 Oregonians struggling with homelessness and who were formerly incarcerated in state prison and are at a medium to high risk to recidivate, with a priority for women, veterans, and those excluded from federal funding/program (e.g., sex crimes). Services include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), counseling, and self sufficiency programs (SSP), workforce, and education support.
Sponsors, Homes for Good, and P&P have worked together for more than 20 years to develop affordable housing for people with criminal histories. The partnership has been recognized nationally for the development of model programs that utilize evidence-based practices to reduce homelessness and recidivism.
TWH will provide 100 units of Housing First Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to individuals with conviction histories in Lane County over the next two years, and a rigorous evaluation to take place over the next five years will measure the impact of PSH on recidivism, housing, and health outcomes, among others. Housing will be located at The Oaks at 14th in Eugene, and scattered site public housing units and private market units subsidized with Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers throughout the county.
Data infrastructure was developed to evaluate the success of this model, as well as to establish a performance “feedback loop” among Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC), Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and TWH to improve service delivery with data driven decision-making. A successful pilot of this program with 53 housing Permanent Supportive Housing units was completed from April 2017 to August 2018 which improved service coordination and data access/sharing processes.
Sponsors recently accessed $500,000 in startup funding through the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) and its Oregon Impact Fund. The Oregon Impact Fund lends to nonprofit organizations and for-profit social ventures in Oregon that demonstrate quantifiable impact in the areas of affordable housing, education, health care access, natural resource management and job creation in underserved communities.
TWH currently has a $3.1 million POP Budget request through the Oregon CJC, with support from the Governor’s Office, that will provide funding for an outcomes contract for years 2 and beyond.
TWH will model for the county, state and region the opportunity to utilize outcomes-based contracts to address complex social problems. Such contracts are structured to align resources with results: “success payments” are only made when the service provider achieves specific measurable outcomes.
Read Sponsor's Press Release about the project
Read HUD/DOJ's Press Release about the project
Read Project underway in Lane County to keep ex-criminals housed, crime-free from The Register-Guard
Read Funding statewide stability: Housing Opportunities portfolio from Meyer Memorial Trust
Listen to radio interview with Sponsor's Paul Solomon on McKenzie River Broadcasting's Community Forum
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City Club of Eugene: From Inmate to Neighbor from KLCC
For more information or inquiries, please contact [email protected]