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

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2009
20 pages
This toolkit is intended for use by organizations working to provide reentry housing in local communities.
Previous research has found a direct link between homelessness and incarceration, as well as a link between homelessness and recidivism. Several factors have been identified that act as barriers for formerly incarcerated individuals' attempts to access safe and stable housing: family members unwilling or unable to house them; high prices in the private housing market coupled with landlords' right to discriminate against individuals with criminal histories; and Federal and local public housing policies that deny access to individuals with certain criminal convictions. This toolkit highlights the work of the Fortune Society, a New York City-based reentry services agency that developed a housing project for formerly incarcerated individuals in West Harlem. The toolkit, intended for use by organizations working to provide reentry housing in local communities, presents the experiences and strategies used by the Fortune Society to help them overcome the local community's opposition to their reentry housing project. The information in this toolkit is presented in four primary sections: I - an examination of the reentry crisis; II - a case study showing how an organization can address a community's concerns and garner support for its project; III - an examination of what can be learned from the success of the Fortune Society; and IV - best practices for gaining community support and how to apply them to an organization. References

Date Published: January 1, 2009