What is a Halfway House

When people find themselves dealing with tough times like jail or drug addiction, it can feel like there are no housing support options available. Especially options that work for their lifestyle and budget. However, that’s actually not the case. A type of transitional housing that may be a great opportunity includes halfway homes. Generally a halfway house is a type of group residence for people that need to reenter the community. Agencies at the local, state, and federal level run these homes but so do private subcontractors and nonprofits. Other names for these types of homes include “transitional centers” or “residential reentry centers.”

Understanding Halfway Houses

There are a variety of instances where people may live in a halfway home. However, two popular instances when people will live in these types of houses include:

Re-Entering Society After a Period of Being in Jail

When people spend periods of time incarcerated then it can be difficult reentering society. That is why halfway homes can provide support to those in need. It may be a condition of parole which means people don’t have a choice when it comes to entering these homes. Each halfway home is different but generally people will stay there for up to a year.

Some states in America offer halfway homes as an alternative to a prison sentence. Also known as community correction centers, individuals will go here instead of prison. It’s basically a form of residential probation. It can be a great way for individuals to still be held accountable for their actions while being able to work and function in the community.

Who Qualifies for a Halfway Home

Whether or not a person will qualify for a halfway home depends on a variety of factors. This includes:

  • Halfway Housing Availability
  • Available Resources of the Halfway Home
  • The Person’s Record

Halfway Housing Availability

There are plenty of people that can find themselves in need of a halfway home. However, states can’t send prisoners to halfway homes whenever they want. Instead, they need to make sure that this housing is available and has capacity to take on more residents.

Available Resources of the Halfway Home

Besides capacity, there may be special needs that a resident needs that a halfway home can’t provide. For example, if a person entering a halfway home has special needs like mental health counseling or rehabilitation services, the home they enter must have those resources available.

The Person’s Record

Individuals that have a bad history can have a tough time getting into these homes. This includes individuals who have had a violent past or failed halfway home experiences. That is why it is important to make sure to respect these homes if you are able to get placed into one!

This also takes into consideration the circumstances of a person’s crime. If a person was convicted for a violent crime then they have a harder chance getting in. However, individuals that have “victimless” crime convictions will have an easier time being admitted.

What Are the Rules for Living in a Halfway House?

Halfway homes are not places that provide a lot of freedom. They have strict rules, work requirements, curfews, and programs. Individuals that live in these homes will act as a little community. That means there needs to be order! While specific rules will vary depending on the facility, some common rules include:

  • No use of alcohol
  • No use of drugs
  • Individuals must get permission to leave the house
  • Participation in household programs
  • Work requirements like looking for and securing a job

In order to enforce these rules, staff members will monitor the residents. This can include random searches to look for any contraband that residents could have. Individuals that do not comply with the rules of the halfway house can be subject to discharge or even being sent back to jail.

Receiving Support for Rehabilitation

Individuals that go to a halfway home for rehabilitation support may also refer to these homes as “sober living houses”. Regardless, these houses can help people on their journey of recovering from alcohol or drugs. Some people may go to these homes at the start of their sober living journey. On the other hand, some people may come to these homes after a long-term addiction treatment center or as a result of a court order.

Every halfway home is different. That is why some may require residents coming in to pass sobriety tests. They may require this because they may not be in the position to handle withdrawal symptoms.

How long a person can stay in one of these homes can vary but typically is between three months to a year. The goal of these halfway homes is to help people get a steady job, feel secure in sobriety, and just overall provide support for people to get back on their feet.

Who Qualifies for a Halfway Home

We know we may sound like a broken record but every halfway home is different. However, a majority of halfway homes have little restrictions on who can live there depending on their capabilities. Generally, people who go into these homes for rehabilitation support have already completed some sort of treatment program. That is why these homes are ideal for people that have done a medical detox and treatment program. However, individuals that are willing to stay sober and commit to the halfway house rules will likely be able to become a resident.

What are the Rules of a Halfway House?

Once a person becomes a resident in these homes, they agree to live by the rules of the residence. Each halfway house will have its own specific rules. However, some common rules include:

  • Maintaining sobriety
  • No drugs
  • No alcohol
  • Comply with random drug testing
  • No fighting
  • No stealing
  • Obeying the curfew
  • Contributing to household chores
  • Attend recovery meetings
  • Work requirements like looking for and securing a job

What are the Benefits of Halfway Houses?

Every person will get their own unique positive experiences from these types of homes. However some common benefits that people may see from living in a halfway house include:

  • Transition Support: This gives people help to transition back into normal life after dealing with their own situation. It is also helpful for people that may need time to get items like a phone, money, etc.
  • Personal Support: Halfway homes typically have a variety of programs for their residents to benefit from. This can include recovery meetings, mental health counseling, and more.
  • Housing and Employment Support: While individuals are trying to get back on their feet, they can have help with expenses like housing. On top of that, these homes can help people secure a job which can provide a steady flow of income!

Bottom Line

A housing opportunity that may be worth considering are halfway homes. Some people don’t have a choice in living in these residences since it may be court ordered. On the other hand, some people may choose to live in these properties if they are beginning their journey of sobriety or have completed other programs. You can search for halfway homes near you on this website. There may be more opportunities for support to consider than you realize!

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