For many people reintegrating into their community post-incarceration, leaving behind the physical bars of a prison cell does not mean going “home” or to a place of belonging. Specifically, reintegrators are often forced into boarding houses infested with physical, spiritual, and emotional filth – unhealthy environments making the journey to restoration even more challenging.
We are seeking funding for a housing project which will provide both a home and optional employment for six post-incarceration individuals. What makes this innovation different than other housing projects is that it will be a home and micro-community, not simply a shelter. While shelters are necessary for physical survival, successful reintegration post-release requires community supports. The house will be a place of spiritual nourishment, belonging, friendship, and growth, not a temporary bed. Moreover, the employment option for residents will strategically use the therapeutic benefits of animal therapy: residents will be given the option to work in the in-house doggy-daycare.
Offering residents at the House of Hope the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to their community by caring for their neighbour’s dogs, and earn a living doing it, offers the advantages of community involvement, therapeutic potential, and fulfilment through employment. In this way, our initiative will meet both a physical and psychological need that is not currently being met.