HousingPlus is a national leader in alternative to incarceration programs.

In 2009, we created the country’s first Family Alternative to Incarceration Program, called Drew’s House. At Drew’s House, women charged 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. The program was created to provide an alternative to incarceration for women being detained at the women’s jail facility on Rikers Island, known as the Rose M. Singer Center (Rosie’s).

Women who participate in SHERO are diverted from Rikers to a transitional housing program. A consortium of partners help women and gender-diverse people to meet their court obligations while providing full supportive housing. We then help participants to transition to permanent housing.

When SHERO/WCJP began it was a privately-funded year-long pilot. In 2016, it received funding from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice for a multi-year demonstration project. Our partners in this work include Greenhope Services for Women, Hour Children, Providence Health, and the Women’s Prison Association.

Today, HousingPlus and our partners provide 59 units of transitional housing to the justice-involved people we serve. We also provide a wealth of experience and expertise in case management, mental health and substance use treatment, vocational and job training, and permanent housing placement. Our support services are designed to serve the distinct needs of justice-involved women and gender expansive people.

10 of our 59 housing units 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 2022, SHERO plans to double in size, and will offer 140 total transitional units, with 18 reserved for families.

If you would like to make a referral or learn more about SHERO, please contact our team at sherointake@housingplusnyc.org.