Candidates for the program must be homeless and charged with a felony offense. They also must have a disability of mental illness or substance abuse, be drug free, and have custody of their children.
The Drew House EnvironmentThe families live in their own one or two bedroom apartment. There is a house manager on site and it is monitored by TASC (Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities).
The women receive a wide array of services including parenting classes, required sessions with a family therapist, employment services, access to community day care, health services and other vocational and educational programs to meet their individual needs.
The children attend school and receive tutoring, counseling and health care as needed in order to help reduce the possible trauma of being homeless or separated from their mothers.
Tough ConsequencesIf the participants break the law, fail to attend a required sessions, or do not properly follow the Drew House rules, they will be returned to prison and given the maximum sentence. However, if they successfully fulfill the court's mandates, which generally last 18 months, the felony charges will be dismissed.
The program is designed to help the women achieve stability, economic security and obtain permanent housing. To help avoid the possibility of the family becoming homeless again, the women and their children may keep their apartments as long as needed.
Poll: Is this a good alternative to going to prison?
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