Proposal: Haven House Juneau

PROPOSAL: Haven House

Aleesha Towns-Bain

Short description: Haven House is a faith based organization providing supported and structured living opportunities to foster healing and self sufficiency for women coming out of prison. Haven House incorporated and received 501(c)(3) status in 2010, started serving women in prison and women coming out of prison in 2013, and began housing women on March 17, 2015.

This grant would provide a lead gift to assist Haven House in the purchase of its current residential facility in Juneau.

The Big Why:

Alaska clearly needs reentry housing. The 2015 Recidivism Reduction Plan, developed at direction of the Alaska Legislature, states:

Alaska is at a crossroads. The prison population is growing at 3% per year and the ADOC [Alaska Department of Corrections] is currently at 101% of general capacity. One road leads to the construction of a costly new prison or to the resumption of outofstate incarceration. The second road leads to state commitment to invest in much less costly proven best practice approaches that reduce annual prison growth rates, effectively address criminality, reduce recidivism and build healthier, safer Alaskan communities.

The best practice approaches to reduce recidivism must include safe, stable, and structured housing for men and women immediately upon their release from prison. Rather than simply letting people out at the prison gate, Alaska Corrections officials now recognize that we must provide a “warm hand off” so that men and women getting out of prison must have some place to go immediately and must have a way to start a new life as soon as they get out of prison.

Haven House directly provides up to two years of transitional housing, in a faith-based peer recovery community, with successful role models and opportunities for positive relationships, life skills training, and an opportunity for participants to support one another. Haven House provides peer recovery coaching and training to former prisoners who participate as recovery peers but do not reside onsite. Haven House also provides a meeting place for women in the community who are in recovery and/or reentry to support each other.

 

Haven House currently has five residents and five applicants under consideration to reside in a five bedroom home in Juneau. Haven House has also served an additional 25 former prisoners with peer recovery support.

The Bottom Line:

The National Housing Law Project states: “Formerly incarcerated individuals struggle to secure employment, obtain medical care and avoid substance abuse. According to criminal justice officials, however, finding housing is the biggest challenge faced by individuals returning to the community.”

Read more: http://juneauempire.com/local/2015-03-31/haven-house-offers-serenity-first-tenants

This grant request is to provide a lead gift of $5,000 to assist in the purchase of a house at 3202 Malissa Drive in Juneau.

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