Rhonda Jo Bear
Every day men and women are released on their own recognizance with absolutely no support network. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) most recent study on recidivism showed that within five years of release nearly three-quarters of ex-offenders released in 2005 came back into contact with the criminal justice system, and more than half returned to prison after either being convicted for a new crime or for violating the conditions of their release.
What these men and women need most is rehabilitation. A chance to overcome their circumstances and mistakes. An opportunity to start building a respectable life. They need what prison is least equipped to give them. BJS suggests that programs which focus on work training and placement, drug and mental health treatment, and housing assistance have proven to be the most effective.
There are approximately 30,000 children in Oklahoma with an incarcerated parent, according to the Kids Count Fact Sheet from the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. Oklahoma leads the nation in female incarceration and has the second-highest male incarceration rate, it's understandable that many children have parents behind bars.
Children with an incarcerated parent are 5 times more likely to become incarcerated themselves. We have created a generational cycle of incarceration and HHOM is committed to breaking that cycle and making a difference in the lives of these children. And HHOM does that by helping the parent.
HHOM provides transitional housing that includes; group homes that house women only; family homes that house women and their children; graduate homes that house women who are at or near the completion of their program but need additional financial support and therefore share household expenses while also giving back to the program. HHOM currently has; 8 homes in Claremore with the capacity to serve up to 31 women; 1 home in Edmond with the capacity to serve up to 5 women and; HHOM is excited to announce that as of February 1, 2018, they have opened a men’s home and expanded to Broken Arrow, this single home has the capacity to serve up to 5 men.
As HHOM receives new residents a Program Coach works closely with them for the first 72 hours to get them grounded and positioned for success. The Program Coach assists them with checking in with Probation & Parole, setting up an assessment appointment with Rogers County Drug Abuse, securing identifications, getting clothing and hygiene, and obtaining emergency food benefits. Once the resident is established with their housing and necessities the Program Coach will assess their job skills and guide them in their job search.
In 2012, She Brews Coffee House was established as an extension of HHOM. She Brews Coffee House is a social entrepreneurial venture located in downtown Claremore. It seeks to fulfill a need to provide basic job skill training and work experience for the women. In February 2017, a second She Brews location in Claremore was opened. Between the two locations She Brews Coffee House can employ up to six women at one time.
HHOM has partnered with Stand in the Gap (SITG) where their mission is to connect prisoners with loving families that volunteer their time and agree to meet with them twice a month to; pray with and for them, guide them with life choices, and encourage and support them on a daily basis. They are mentoring and providing life skill preparation. They are walking alongside them leading them to a life of freedom.
"PUTTING FAMILIES BACK TOGETHER, BY THE GRACE OF GOD!"