Transitional Housing Program
Those leaving jail and wanting to get and/or stay sober often face many barriers. Brothers and Sisters Behind Bars wants to support those individuals as much as possible. One of the biggest barriers for those wanting to get and/or stay sober is not having a safe place to live. Having a home is a critical component to getting healthy. Brothers and Sisters Behind Bars formed a partnership with Midwest Bible Camp and Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership to start a transitional housing program in Watertown. Brothers and Sisters Behind Bars pays the rent for up to six months, Midwest Bible Camp provides the rooms and ICAP provides case management to individuals. This program gives those individuals that are homeless and involved with the criminal justice system a chance to get back on their feet.
Individuals in this program work to increase their job skills, money management skills and must follow their probation plan while they search for safe permanent housing. They can stay in the program for a maximum for 6 months however many individuals are able to move to independence before 6 months. It costs $300 per month to provide safe, sober housing for an individual.
While developing positive relationships, it became clear that sometimes there were needs that an individual may have that couldn’t be met by any agency or charity in the community. Brothers and Sisters Behind Bars started offering small loans to those involved with mentors to meet those needs. To qualify for a loan, individuals must have a mentor through the program or a Court Services Officer. There cannot be any other resource for the need in the community and the individual has to show how they have the ability to repay the loan.