Sacramento State University purchased two homes to house eight formerly incarcerated students who are attending the school. The homes, managed by Project Rebound, will allow formerly incarcerated students to gain stability while pursuing their goal of higher learning, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The Project Rebound Consortium contributed $550,000 towards the purchases. Other contributors included University Enterprises Inc., Sacramento State’s auxiliary and the Office of President Robert S. Nelsen. They each contributed $275,000, according to UEI Executive Director Jim Reinhart.
Aaron Greene, the director of Project Rebound at Sacramento State, said that people who participate in the program came from heavily disadvantaged backgrounds. Often locked up for decades, they have no history of credit, work experience, or a way to take care of their basic needs.
The two homes will have strict policies against drugs, alcohol, and smoking. “We also want to make sure that the neighborhood looks good and is kept clean, and offer help to people who might need it. We want to be good neighbors,” Greene said.
Student residents who participate in the program receive access to many necessities like transcripts, campus services, computers, bikes and workshops, and have celebrations for milestones, birthdays and holidays.
Trish Morris, an associate professor of sociology and executive director of Sacramento State’s Project Rebound program, discussed the housing-related challenges that formerly incarcerated people face.
“Finding secure, stable housing is a challenge for people who have criminal records and a lack of rental history. Participants in the program must secure local housing or be paroled to the county where they were living prior to incarceration. Many end up on the streets or staying with friends or relatives,” said Morris.
Sacramento State has also partnered with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide education to prisoners. Transforming Outcomes Project, a joint program, welcomes people incarcerated at Folsom and Mule Creek state prisons to apply for the program. Sacramento State faculty teaches classes virtually and in person inside the prisons to help inmates earn their degrees.