HUD Secretary Donovan Encourages Public Housing Authorities to Give Ex-Offenders Second Chances

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovon and Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez wrote a letter to the Executive Directors of the Country’s Public Housing Authorites (PHA’s) on June 17, 2011 encouraging them to help ex-offenders reunite with their families and get a second chance in life by using less restrictive tenant selection criteria.

The Letter to PHA’s

The only circumstances under which a PHA is required by law to ban a person from federally assisted housing is if he or she was convicted of methamphetamine production on the premises or is subject to a lifetime registration as a sex offender.

The letter ends with “As President Obama recently made clear, this is an Administration that believes in the importance of second chances – that people who have paid their debt to society deserve the opportunity to become productive citizens and caring parents, to set the past aside and embrace the future. Part of that support means helping ex-offenders gain access to one of the most fundamental building blocks of a stable life – a place to live.”

The Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan applauds HUD Secretary Donovan and Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez  for issuing a clear statement on Public Housing tenant selection criteria.

 

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2 Responses to HUD Secretary Donovan Encourages Public Housing Authorities to Give Ex-Offenders Second Chances

  1. Patricia McGrath says:

    we have a prison alliance committee here on Maui and have been trying to get help for felons once they are released. The are told to recycle and then end up living in the bushes, stealing vehicles to get around, cant get a job, cant get a phone and the revolving door starts turning again. Some of these people don’t have family that they can count on or need to get out of their environment but can’t because there is no help out there. A lot suffer from Mental issues or depression and self medicate themselves with street drugs due to stigma here in Hawaii and so many different cultures.
    My son is one of these felons, He is 41, is in and out of jail and now going to prison as a repeat offender. mostly driving with no tags, safety, insurance or license.Due to a
    ticket in Calif. the fine was so high he couldn;t pay it and they would not take payments. this was 10 years ago….. he has so many fines here in Hawaii that he will never be able to pay them all. He is a NON-VIOLENT offender and because of finances and being a felon he will never be able to exist as a normal part of society as long as he has to live with the homeless in a tent
    (not by choice) and eat from dumpsters as he cannot get a job without an address and place to clean up daily to hold a respectable job.
    Please Please help these people get their life back together and be a part of society and not just go back to the streets to self medicate from depression and no self esteem and feeling of hopelessness.
    Thank you for listening. I pray that God will guide you to help with these people( most of some religion) snd give them hope.

    PatriciaGMcGrath@gmail.com

  2. Patricia McGrath says:

    In response to Mr. Donovan and all other advocates, Thank you for remembering our incarcerated. Hawaii, although 3,000 miles from the MAINLAND is still a part of the Federal government and I am speaking out for the state who gets so much money for so many beds filled at correction facilities. TO the point that a cell for 4 actually houses as many as 6 to 8. THEY SLEEP ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR. This is documented…
    We have a prison alliance committee here on Maui and have been trying to get help for ex-felons once they are released. The are told to recycle and then end up living in the bushes, stealing vehicles to get around, cant get a job, cant get a phone and the revolving door starts turning again. Some of these people don’t have family they can count on orthey simlpy need to get OUT of their environment but can’t because there is no help out there. A lot suffer from Mental issues or depression and they self medicate themselves with street drugs. This is due to stigma here in Hawaii and so many different cultures.

    WE have a lot of prison programs facing personal issues of inmates and there are a lot of non-profits who are here to help. Just clothing and food and helping with hygene issues with homelessness are a few thing in place now, also the mental health communities are getting federal grants and going into the prisons to educate inmates prior to transition of release. Some have nowhere to go and feel useless.
    This may not be for everybody but there are a lot of inmates male and female who are looking for that one obsticle to get over to change their whole life. Just a place to stay.
    Hawaii does not have half way houses here or work programs other than being taken out for daily work and return to jail each night with no socialization only labor.
    My son is one of these felons, He is 41, is in and out of jail and now going to prison as a repeat offender. mostly driving with no tags, safety, insurance or license.Due to a
    ticket in Calif. the fine was so high he couldn’t pay it and they would not take payments. this was 10 years ago….. he has so many fines here in Hawaii that he will never be able to pay them all. He is a NON-VIOLENT offender and because of finances and being a felon he will never be able to exist as a normal part of society as long as he has to live with the homeless in a tent , this leads to street drugs and alchohol as there is nothing else for him.;
    (not by choice) and sometimes eating from dumpsters as he cannot get a job without an address and place to clean up daily to hold a respectable job.
    Please Please, Mr. Donovan help these people get their life back together and be a part of society and not just go back to the streets to self medicate from depression and no self esteem and feeling of hopelessness.
    Thank you for listening. I pray that God will guide you to help with these people( most of some religion) and give them hope.
    Mahalo from Maui

    PatriciaGMcGrath@gmail.com

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