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The Homecoming Project, an initiative from the nonprofit Impact Justice, addresses housing challenges for formerly incarcerated individuals by matching participants with a homeowner who has a spare room for six months. The program launched in 2018 in the Bay Area, in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Host homeowners are paid a stipend of $45 per day plus a $400 bonus, and have no responsibility to provide services or care. Homecoming Project funding comes from county, state and philanthropic dollars without spending—or waiting—on new construction.

Aishatu Yusuf, vice president of impact and innovation for Impact Justice, said to date, the Homecoming Project has placed nearly 100 people and there are 14 people currently connected with host homes. The program boasts a 95% rate of individuals who leave with long-term housing and 96% who leave with employment, according to Yusuf. They focus on housing people who were sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

‘The reason we chose that population is because they’re the most likely to be homeless or houseless, and less likely to recidivate back into prison,’ Yusuf said. ‘There’s a lot of data to support that when people can reintegrate back into community with folks around them to support them or to be in community with them, they have more likelihood to succeed. Oftentimes what happens, they create really lasting and really deep relationships.'”

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