House of Mercy in Federal Way received a $750,000 grant to support recently incarcerated individuals re-entering society.
The money comes from the Department of Justice. House of Mercy’s mission is described on their website as: “House of Mercy is committed to healing our culture by restoring the lives of men in transition, through safe, supportive housing, leadership training and discipleship. Our work is rebuilding lives and raising up the foundations of many generations.”
In their grant application, House of Mercy shared that participants in their programs have only a 5 percent re-offense rate compared to a 23.7 percent rate in the state overall. This grant money will allow them to serve 864 individuals.
“More than $4.4 million in Department of Justice funds will flow to Washington State entities to provide reentry services to those involved with the criminal justice system,” according to a press release from Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “The largest share of the grants – some $1.8 million – goes to the Washington State Department of Corrections for programs aimed at helping incarcerated persons be successful once released from custody.”
House of Mercy uses a four step structure to support recently incarcerated individuals. First, they assess and create assessments and case plans before individuals are released from incarceration. Next, they maintain one-on-one case management to connect individuals with services starting before re-entry.
The next step is the most intensive and is referred to as HOM Transitions. This includes “a full suite of training opportunities and services including: job skills planning/training, job search and placement services, financial freedom workshops, digital training workshops, peer support and mentorship, leadership development, systems and services navigation, and basic needs (affordable transitional housing, transportation, & initial food/clothing support).”
The final piece of their programs is a tool rather than an intervention. Their database is vital to tracking participant success, individual case management and coordinating their vast supply of community resources.
“The vast majority of justice involved persons will be returning to our communities. It is critical that we invest in ways to improve reentry so that those former inmates can lead safe and productive lives,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman in a press release. “These grants are aimed at mental health issues, substance abuse problems and family unification programs that can make a difference for individuals and for the community as a whole.”
For those interested in benefiting from the programs at House of Mercy, applicants can apply directly on their website at houseofmercyministries.net. For King County residents, the application states that the program costs $650 a month and it is unclear at this point how their services might be accessed at no cost through the grant funding. Applicants must be clean and sober for a minimum of 30 days prior to acceptance into the program.