When an inmate is released from prison, many times these ex-offenders have few resources available to them. With little money, perhaps a fractured family-support network, few
job opportunities and chances are, any form of state-issued identification has expired.
When you add to this the complication of trying to find a home, clothing, personal-care needs and gainful employment with a criminal record haunting you, the degree of
difficulty overcoming these obstacles increases exponentially.
Since many states and counties require that inmates be released to the jurisdiction in which they were convicted, many ex-offenders fall in with the same crowd and repeat
the same mistakes, often re-offending and receiving an even longer prison term.
Causes for ex-offenders becoming homeless:
- No family Support
- Financial Burden for family/friends
- Lack of Housing for ex-offenders directly from incarceration
- Lack of Alternative Housing for violent/sex offenders.
- Limited Financial Resources to pay for housing
- Offenders do not qualify for many housing assistance programs or low income housing
- Some offenses make public housing unavailable to ex-offenders
- Limited housing resources for medically and/or mentally disabled offenders
This is why for the past 35 years, Step-Up, Incorporated has tried to help by offering pre-release services such as education and pre-release evaluation, post-release services
such as help finding adequate shelter, clothing, documentation such as helping obtain government-issued identification as well as employment assistance and counseling.
The Facts are Clear
It is easy to “get tough on crime” and send people to jail, but the difficult part comes when the release date arrives. According to the Planning Council, in 2009 roughly 14,000 offenders
were released into society and according to the Justice Department, one in three will re-offend.
Step-Up, Inc. provides a valuable service to Hampton Roads by helping ex-offenders move to a new place in their lives where the prison is replaced with possibilities.