We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

In Our Backyard: Overcoming Community Resistance to Reentry Housing (A NIMBY Toolkit)

January 2012:

With over 725,000 men and women being released from prison each year, the need for housing assistance for the formerly incarcerated population is immense. Indeed, in addition to linking homelessness and incarceration, research has identified a significant relationship between homelessness and re-offending. Unfortunately, a number of barriers place the formerly incarcerated population at a disadvantage when trying to access safe and stable housing. For some, returning home to their family is not an option as family members may be unwilling or unable to accommodate them.

Accessing housing in the private market also presents a challenge given high prices and landlords’ exercising their personal discretion to discriminate against people with criminal histories. Finally, public housing policies – both at the federal and local level – deny access to individuals with certain criminal convictions.

Community-based service providers around the country working in the reentry field have begun to respond to this overwhelming need with few resources. This toolkit highlights the experience of The Fortune Society in its development of a housing project in West Harlem. Through Fortune’s experience, organizations can glean strategies to help them overcome one of the greatest challenges associated with providing housing to formerly incarcerated men and women.

NIMBY opposition can result in significant project delays, or even shut down. This case study documents how an organization can address a myriad of community concerns and ultimately garner support for its project. By offering tangible steps and lessons learned by Fortune, this toolkit provides guidance and encouragement to those organizations working to assist formerly incarcerated people and create safer communities.

For the remainder of this paper: by The Fortune Society and the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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