Reentry Programs Funded to Help Returning Citizens Find Home for the Holidays

by Lester Holmes, Communications Officer, Dept. of Health and Human Services

The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry and its partners are coming together to help formerly incarcerated individuals and their families keep warm during the winter season.     

Under the Oriana House, Inc., North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center (North Star) program, clients will receive Direct Client Transfer (DCT) funds to aid formerly incarcerated individuals with deposits for rent, and past due rent and utility bill payments. DCT funds will be given to heads of household, property management staff, landlord and/or utility companies via check, money order or debit card.  Walmart gift cards will also be provided for food where checks or money orders are not accepted.

Cuyahoga County will pay $100,000 to North Star to manage the program. Eligible participants will be assessed by North Star and its partners. Participants will receive up to $720 in assistance with the potential of receiving up to $1000 on a case-by-case basis. All distributed funds will be recorded and reported to Cuyahoga County.

The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry has also entered into agreement with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) to provide emergency housing assistance for the unsheltered. NEOCH will also connect individuals with supportive services and housing resources working to ensure that those leaving shelter are provided resources to develop a permanent housing plan. The county will provide $100,000 upfront to cover the cost of operations.

NEOCH will collaborate with the Cuyahoga County Continuum of Care (CoC) to ensure compliance with shelter standards.  Referrals for service will be made through NEOCH’s Street Outreach Program, and the NEOCH Street Outreach Collaborative.

Office of Reentry Director Simeon Best said stable housing is a critical component to reducing recidivism.

“The chances of justice-impacted individuals reoffending significantly decrease with safe living options” said Best.

For more information about these programs, contact the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry at (216) 698-3437 or