Our mission is to disrupt the Prison-to-Shelter pipeline
HomeNOW is an early-stage organization working to expand access to affordable, quality housing for people who are returning home from incarceration. Our long-term vision is to disrupt the Prison-to-Shelter pipeline. Immediate work is focused on increasing credit scores for people inside prison facilities before they come out, and piloting a security deposit loan fund for formerly incarcerated people in the workforce who are living in temporary or unsafe housing.
More than 10% of people leaving jails and prisons are homeless in the months before or after their incarceration. Of approximately 9,000 parolees coming out of state prison, 54% went directly into a shelter for an unknown length of time.
People coming home may have no credit history, bad credit, or have suffered identity theft while inside, unable to do anything about it. On top of this, debt from fine and fees related to imprisonment are common. All of this creates an uphill battle when it comes time to access affordable and suitable housing.
Incarcerations strips away access to the financial world. There are no opportunities to build credit, and few to pay debts. Because both landlords and employers run credit checks, bad credit or lack of credit become barriers at the doorway of opportunity.
Housing rentals on the private market typically require substantial up front costs in the form of a security depot. Usually, the first month of rent is also due before move in.
Security deposits in the state of New York can range, at the lower end, from $800 to $1300 for one individual. And all this excludes the costs of moving or purchasing basics such as a mattress or other furniture.