From Next City:
People who are released from incarceration face unique challenges to participating in society. Returning citizens have no job, little money, and no permanent place to live upon their release. They are sometimes barred from receiving public benefits or accessing public housing. Private landlords and employers may discriminate against them because of their criminal histories. And personal and family relationships may take work to repair.
“When folks go to prison for their crimes, they’re still punished once they come out of prison,” says Jeanice Hardy. “Society itself is not forgiving.”
Hardy is the regional director of family services for the YWCA in King County, Washington. Since 2011, YWCA Seattle King Snohomish, in partnership with the King County Housing Authority, has operated a unique housing project called Passage Point, which provides transitional housing for single parents who are being released from correctional facilities and seeking to reconnect with their young children. The complex includes 46 units of housing, with support services to help residents find work, rebuild relationships with their children, address mental-health challenges, and plan for permanent housing. Residents stay for up to two years. As of early December, according to Kristy Johnson, director of homeless housing initiatives for the King County Housing Authority, there were 97 residents at the Passage Point complex, including 53 children.