What is the best way to stop the cycle of homeless people cycling in and out of the jail? That is the million – or should I say multi-million – dollar question….
This topic has been on the minds of many in our community. Recently an article in the Camera described the challenges of managing an overcrowded jail and the strain it causes.
At Bridge House, we applaud the efforts of Joe Pelle, Boulder County Sherriff, and his team to think creatively about how to meet this challenge and we offer our support and passion to fix this problem.
To stem the cycle of homelessness and incarceration you need more than good programming in the jail and reentry services, we need the resources and support for people in the community to help them stabilize. We need accessible and effective mental health care and substance abuse treatment. We need jobs and employment support. We need stable places for people to stay for these services to be productive. We need more program-based housing initiatives and affordable places for people to live while rebuilding their lives.
Programs like Ready to Work have proven to reduce recidivism by more than 60%. We believe Ready to Work’s combination of transitional paid work, sobriety support, life skills coupled with housing as a major piece of the puzzle. We see coordinated services like the ones at our Resource Center as a good start too.