Are they really needed in our communities?
Halfway houses are an important necessity in the criminal justice system. Yet they don’t have a good reputation. They also make a very good real estate investment for property owners.
Why Do Halfway Houses have a negative Reputation?
Halfway houses are part of the way to control recidivism for persons exiting prisons. Halfway houses in the 1960s were for people who had served a significant amount of time in prison. The old halfway houses had jail bars and lots of rules including curfews and sign-out sheets to even leave the house. However, over time they failed to lower recidivism and help people integrate back into society. Most notably they were ineffective in reducing the recidivism of those with drug abuse histories and stable employment. The States were originally the ones who ran halfway houses. Over time investors saw them as a profitable business and started privatizing them.
Most people think a halfway house is only for bad people coming out of jails and prisons. Halfway Houses serve as society’s tool to help people integrate back into society and move to the next step of their life. There is a need for halfway houses in every community in America whether or not they serve as part of the criminal justice system. In fact, tens of thousands of people spend time in halfway houses every year. Thousands and thousands of dollars are allocated by the government, state correction departments, and probation/parole offices at both the state and federal levels for this type of housing. Non-profits and private companies are given these funds to run the typical halfway house for those previously incarcerated.
An Umbrella Term for Shared Housing
Halfway house is an umbrella term for many types of housing. In today’s society shared living houses are often called halfway houses although people who have never been in prison live there. There are misleading conceptions and myths about Halfway Houses. Originally it was meant for those being released from prisons as a segway back into society. They act as a steppi9ng stone for people to integrate back into society. If you were behind bars for a long time the government set up these houses to help you assimilate back into society. They just figured you didn’t know how to effectively live in your community after serving a long sentence in prison.
Other Names for Halfway Houses
Today the term can be used for transitional housing, sober living, restitution centers, and aftercare programs. The term “halfway house” holds many negative connotations to it due to the stereotype of persons who live there. Yet, today many people choose to live there whether or not they have been incarcerated or treated for addiction.
Halfway Homes help a variety of people for many different reasons. We all know that there is always some type of housing crisis in America. Halfway houses can serve as affordable housing for people who can’t afford to rent their own apartments. They can be used as a safe haven for those fighting addiction. Someone may not want to live on their own and would rather live in a shared living facility such as a halfway home. Living amongst others gives a person some accountability and also creates a family-like atmosphere. Many persons seek Halfway Houses as they still offer more structure and a larger support system than independent living on your own. A halfway house can provide a safe environment for those who aren’t ready to go back home or don’t have that option to continue their recovery journey.
A person living in a halfway house is afforded the time and opportunity to get back on their feet whether they need to save money, look for a job or reunite with family members. An owner of a halfway house can decide what type of residents they wish to house and how to run it. There are some houses that are open to the general public with very little oversight or management. Then there are the houses on the other spectrum that have onsite management with lots of rules and guidelines for the residents to abide by while living there. Opening a halfway house is not as easy as just buying or renting a home out to a single family. There are a lot of considerations to take into place when owning a halfway house.
House Rules in Halfway Houses
Halfway houses generally are a tool for helping people reintegrate and learn to live in society. Due to the nature of the people living in a halfway house rules need to be set down. The rules can help people get back on their feet and hold them accountable.
Some rules in Halfway houses can include any of the following:
- Sign in and Out Sheets
- No drugs/alcohol allowed
- Attendance at 12-step meetings
- Must obtain employment
- No visitation
Today the term halfway house has expanded to include many groups of persons who need or want to live together under one roof and share the house and sometimes even the bedrooms. The dictionary’s definition of a halfway house states its purpose is to facilitate readjustment to private life. It really is a shared housing model for anyone who is looking to have a second chance at life. Every community can help its own citizens by encouraging the existence of more halfway homes. Life can be overwhelming. Why not save money and live a more simple life at a Halfway House? Better yet if you are a property owner why not consider opening a halfway house in your rental?
Funding for Halfway Houses
Are you ready to open up a halfway home? We can provide you with step-by-step instructions and coach you through the entire process. Whether it is a non-profit or private venture, a halfway house can really help ex-cons have a second chance at life. There is also funding for a lot of halfway houses through the probation and parole departments. Usually, when someone comes out of the criminal justice system they are broke or only have $200.00 “gate money” after serving their term. As such the funding is there for felons’ housing. You just need to know where to look to get paid by the government to house these people that are desperate for a place to live.
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