15% of people released from prison are homeless at some point
during their first year of freedom.
The few housing programs for returning citizens provide communal living spaces. Often these programs operate on a rigid and controlling system. Returning Citizens have been incarcerated and forced to be housed with people based upon the fact that they have been found guilty of a crime. However, when they return home, it is important that they are able to shed the stigma of incarceration and reentry.
Housing for women and/or LGBTQ+ people who are returning citizens is the biggest barrier to successful reentry. 15% of returning citizens experience homelessness in the first year of reentry. Having a home of one’s own is paramount to healing from incarceration and trauma as well as successful reentry. WSFM is changing this and plans to significantly reduce the barriers to quality housing for all returning citizens. We center the voices of returning citizens to raise awareness that carceral systems create housing instability for those who survive the prison industrial complex.
Housing For All (HFA) is a pilot program supporting women and LGBTQ+ returning citizens access free to low-cost individual apartments. HFA provides monthly rent and cell phone subsidy, and $100 weekly stipend for up to one year. HFA also provides wrap-around services including leadership development, job readiness, and financial literacy to support the overall success and self-sufficiency of participants.
In years one to five, we hope to see the purchase of 4 buildings across DC with six to eight units. The housing will permanent and free for those who are unable to pay rent and low cost to others. This unique program is designed to be scaled nationally.