A Place to Call Home: The Foundation of Lasting Stability

By Megan Falkenstein

Winter 2021

Can you imagine trying to establish a stable life without the important foundation of a home? For many, the very concept is entirely unimaginable. Yet this is precisely the situation folks reentering our community find themselves in upon release from prison.

Finding and securing a home is one of the single greatest challenges, and one of the most important steps in a successful reentry. Without a safe and stable home, other important things—tackling health challenges, finding and maintaining employment, and developing healthy relationships—fade further out of reach. With the important and generous support of our wonderful partners, Sponsors has steadily grown to ensure we can provide more housing options for those facing the greatest barriers to access.

Sponsors, founded in 1973, began providing housing in 1988 with just five transitional beds. Today, we proudly oversee more than 240 beds of transitional and long-term housing across seven separate housing sites. Each year, Sponsors provides housing and support services to approximately 700 Lane County residents with conviction histories.

The stable housing we provide is making a huge impact!  A recent analysis found a 60 percent reduction in three-year recidivism rates among individuals who participated in Sponsors Long-Term Housing programs as compared with the Lane County baseline for people releasing from state prison.

As Sponsors continues to grow and adapt, we are guided by a deeply held commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We know that folks involved with the criminal justice system face housing discrimination, and the disproportionate criminalization of marginalized communities has served to perpetuate (and exacerbate) discrimination and inequity in our communities. 

With your partnership, we are working to overcome those barriers—supporting and empowering individuals in their efforts to overcome discrimination and inequity, and to secure stability and success. The journey begins with the critical foundation of a home. In this winter’s Transformation Happens Here newsletter, you will learn more about how your support is helping folks find and maintain a stable home. We are also delighted to share a sneak peak at some of the truly remarkable outcomes from The Way Home Lane Reentry Collaborative.