Moving On Profile: Returning Home Ohio

Returning Home Ohio (RHO), is a supportive housing  program funded by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) serving Ohio’s returning prison population, specifically those individuals exiting state prison homeless or at risk of homelessness and who also have a disability. The program began as a pilot launched in 2007 and after five successful years in operation, the RHO was adopted as a permanent program of ODRC in 2012. At that same time, ODRC requested CSH implement a process that would limit tenancy funded through ODRC in order to prevent extensive lengths of stay in housing supported by ODRC and to allow for a certain percentage of turnover to make room for new participants. CSH responded to this request by establishing a workgroup of CSH staff and RHO grantees to discuss the formation of a Moving-On initiative instead of imposing an arbitrary time limit on housing for all participants. In this way, the program would include an intentional focus on maximizing self -sufficiency for individuals in the program with periodic assessments that move them toward the ultimate goal of moving them on to more independent living. This allowed for a more individualized process whereby tenants could move on only if and when they are ready, rather than according to a pre-determined exit timeline for all participants.

At the same time, Home for Good was created via a partnership between CSH, ODRC and Ohio Housing  Finance Agency (OHFA). Home for Good is a dedicated pool of money used for rental  subsidy for those RHO tenants needing long-term supportive housing and who would not be eligible for a traditional subsidy due to their criminal background. It was designed as a safety net for very vulnerable RHO tenants who would otherwise remain under ODRC rental assistance for a lengthy period of time or be taken off that assistance and be at risk of homelessness and/or re-incarceration. The Home for Good rental subsidy positively impacted the development and structure of the RHO Moving-on program as it offered an additional resource for tenants.

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