In 2009, we created the country’s first Family Alternative to Incarceration program,“Drew House,” in which women charges with felony offenses could serve their sentences with their children outside the confines of an institutional setting.
In 2015, we expanded our justice work as the lead agency in the Women’s Community Justice Project (WCJP), now renamed SHERO, which was created to divert women being detained at Rose M. Singer Center (Rosie’s), the women’s jail facility on Rikers Island, into community-based transitional housing with supportive services. WCJP began as a privately-funded, year-long pilot, and in 2016, received funding from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice for a multi-year demonstration project.
SHERO grew out of meetings with executive directors from four other nonprofit providers with histories of serving women who are justice-involved— Greenhope Services for Women , Hour Children, Providence House, and Womens Prison Association. Today, HousingPlus, Greenhope Services for Women, Hour Children, and Providence House provide 59 units of transitional housing, bringing together a wealth of experience and expertise in case management, mental health and substance use treatment, vocational/job training, permanent housing placement, and other supports to serve the distinct needs of justice- involved women and gender expansive people. 10 of those 59 units of housing are specifically for pregnant people and mothers, with the aim of reunifying and reconnecting justice-involved women and their children.
To-date, HousingPlus and our partners have served more than 325 individuals. Beginning in July 2022, SHERO looks forward to more than doubling in size, offering 140 total transitional units, with 18 of those for families, and will begin to provide a more intensive aftercare component to assist many of our residents who move into