This Giving Tuesday, OAR is asking for donations for our housing fund that provides justice-impacted individuals with emergency, temporary, supportive, or permanent housing.
Our goal is to raise $3500!
For over 50 years, OAR has provided a safety net for justice-involved individuals in our community, and their families. Our reason is simple: we understand that restorative justice is more than just a second chance and true community repair depends on creating equitable opportunities for everyone. For many in Northern Virginia safe, permanent, and affordable housing is difficult to find. For returning citizens, it is almost impossible.
Right now, today, there are about 24,000 individuals in jail or prison and another 65,000 on probation and parole in Virginia. As they begin community reentry, they will face several barriers to meeting even their most basic needs. Individuals who secure housing are less likely to recidivate. They are more likely to find, and keep, employment opportunities. These are two MAJOR factors that contribute to creating stability and a platform from which to rebuild their lives and reconnect with their families after incarceration.
As our former client, Josef, observed – OAR is here to help justice-impacted individuals and their families succeed. But the barriers to success are numerous, even when it comes to meeting basic needs. In Virginia there is a shortage of affordable housing. HUD estimates that statewide, there is a shortage of 200,000 housing units. About 60,000 of those housing units are missing in Northern Virginia. Public housing, income-based housing, and permanent supportive housing are all high in demand but extremely low in availability. Many waitlists are closed, and often those still open are estimated to have 3-to-5 year wait. This situation is stark.
Unfortunately, Fair Housing laws don’t always result in Fair Housing practices. Having a criminal record remains a barrier to successfully finding a home, or even emergency shelter. In a recent survey, 79% of respondents reported being denied housing because of their record.
Here is why finding housing justice-impacted individuals is so important to us:
- 1 in 3 Americans have a criminal record
- Formerly incarcerated individuals are 10 times more likely to be homeless than their peers
- Homeless individuals with a criminal record are rearrested at twice the rate of those who secure housing
When Tina needed housing, OAR was there to help. She struggled to regain her footing after incarceration. OAR was able to help her secure an apartment to call home.
Having this kind of stability is priceless while rejoining the community, reconnecting with family, and rebuilding the basics for a successful life. Secure housing is an evidence-based reentry practice that increases employment opportunities and reduces recidivism. OAR is dedicated to finding housing and stability for our clients, and we will continue to fill gaps in services for families by finding them shelter and building bridges to their permanent housing.
Help us reach our goal to bring justice-impacted individuals and their families home!
Any contribution to our housing fund is appreciated.
$70 will place a newly released justice-involved individual in a hotel for the night instead of the on the streets
$200 will cover the first week’s rent in supportive housing
$500 will provide a justice-involved individual with a week in a hotel to find housing and employment
$1000 will help secure new housing or keep a justice-impacted family in their home with the lightsn