Returning Home Ohio

In February 2007, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and CSH in Ohio announced a new supportive housing pilot, Returning Home-Ohio. This initiative is aimed at preventing homelessness and reducing recidivism for individuals returning to Ohio’s communities from state prisons. Over the course of the pilot, ODRC has invested over $5 million which has been used for rental subsidies, tenant assistance, supportive services, program evaluation, and project management.

The target population includes offenders released from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections who have histories of chronic homelessness or are at-risk of homelessness upon release.  Priority is given to offenders who are likely to require supportive services in order to maintain housing. This includes, but is not limited to, offenders who have severe mental illnesses, addictions, and/or development disabilities.

Click here to view the Returning Home Ohio Manual and click here for the provider directory.

CSH's Role

CSH, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Bureau of Community Sanctions (BCS), is responsible for oversight and management of the pilot. CSH subcontracts with the nonprofit supportive housing providers, performs grant administration, and conducts compliance monitoring visits. In addition, CSH coordinates and conducts quarterly meetings between the nonprofit providers and ODRC institution staff.  CSH also manages the relationship with researchers from the Urban Institute.

Impact and Outcomes

The Urban Institute conducted a rigorous evaluation of the pilot and issued a rich final report in August 2012.  The evaluators found that during a one year follow up period:

  • Participants were significantly less likely to be rearrested for misdemeanors.
  • Participants were significantly less likely to be reincarcerated.
  • Very few individuals – in either the treatment or control group – used emergency shelter.
  • Participants received more community-based services, particularly mental health and substance abuse services.

Next Steps

CSH and ODRC, along with our collaborating partners, continue to seek ways to improve the project in order to better serve offenders and the communities to which they return.  In 2013 and 2014 we will work to: expand the program to new communities; create a new pilot program in partnership with a Common Pleas or Municipal Court to serve the Diversion population; enhance the research by extending the length of the follow-up period, collecting more detailed cost-analysis data and assessing the effectiveness of individual RHO programs; and engage in efforts to improve the quality and quantity of referrals to the program from within the prison system.

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