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Housing to Healing Program Evaluation

Drawing on the wisdom of women to build a truly healing home

The transition from incarceration to freedom is not an easy one. The carceral system rarely addresses the root causes of incarceration, so many people leave prisons and jails coping with the same life issues they faced before they were incarcerated but compounded by the trauma of life behind bars. And even after release, systemic barriers make it difficult for them to find stable housing and access services that meet their needs.

In spring 2022, the Research and Action Center embarked on an evaluation of Housing to Healing, a new residential reentry program that also provides trauma-informed treatment for women with serious mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders as a stepping stone back to community. 

Throughout the five-year pilot phase of the program, the Research and Action Center will be the conduit for feedback from women who call the house their home. Through surveys and interviews, we’ll gain a deep understanding of their experiences, including how their race, ethnicity, gender, and gender identity inform and their prior experiences of incarceration influence their perception of and experience in the program and their outcomes. Working with the women and other stakeholders, we’ll gather both quantitative data around program impact and the rich qualitative data that puts those numbers in context to focus on what these women need to heal and how the home can better provide it. Our analysis will guide adjustments to the program and, ultimately, be the basis for measuring the program’s success.

Central to the RAC’s research ethos is creating partnerships with experts outside of our team to augment our research. We’re particularly excited to be working with Kim Carter, Executive Director of Time for Change Foundation, who brings both lived experience of incarceration and decades of experience running a successful reentry program, and Dr. Anita Chari, who brings expertise in somatic therapeutic approaches to addressing trauma to the project. Their specialized expertise will help us ensure we’re asking the right questions and provide context to our findings, leading to robust and actionable recommendations.

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