How to Use Your Time in Reentry Housing

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Transitional housing for people reentering society after being incarcerated is a step toward easing back in, rather than being tossed back onto the streets. If you can get into transitional housing, you're being given a comparatively stable base from which to start your new life. But these programs have time limits, so you have to use your time there wisely.

Yes, Get That Job

Part of your reentry program may involve finding work. And indeed, you should do this. Start saving up money now. A lack of money will just make your transition back into the world that much harder. Learn budgeting skills if you don't have them already, and while you want to have what fun you can, do try to be frugal. When you're released into transitional housing, you're getting a chance to start your new life off right. You need money saved up.

Devour Technological Instruction

If you were incarcerated for even a couple of years, you have likely missed out on some basic technological advances or changes in how things are done. If you were incarcerated for longer than that, you've missed out on a lot. As part of your time in reentry programs, devour all the technological instruction you can. Learn how to use smartphones if you didn't already know, learn to code and make apps, learn about different online payment systems — get all the knowledge you can. You've got to catch up, and knowing these systems will help you find work. The library is a terrific place to start, and if you can get your own smartphone, you've got a mini computer that allows you to look up more information and even learn skills like coding and languages.

Look for a Place to Go Away From Your Old Cronies

The easiest thing to do when you're about to leave reentry housing is to go back to family or friends. But if these same family and friends were part of the problem that got you mixed up in crime or drug use to begin with, you stand a pretty good chance of slipping back into the same habits as before. You've got to find a place to go after the reentry housing that will place you in a better environment. And yes, this is easier said than done; with a record, you may face issues with obtaining housing. It may help to team up with other people in your house that are being released and see if you can get housing away from the areas where you had so many problems.

Reentry after incarceration is not easy. Transitional housing programs help a lot, but you have to plan what to do after those programs release you. Seek help from the people who run the house, from your lawyer, and from anyone helping you gain other skills during your time in the program. It may be difficult, but it's worth it if you can get to a better situation and not slide back.

Reach out to a reentry transitional housing center to learn more.