About Future Hope: F.A.Q.

 

What issues may ex-offenders face in their transition out of the criminal justice system?


  • Difficulty in securing safe, affordable lodging with kitchen privileges.
  • The lack of an environment which fosters sobriety in the context of, for some people, a history of abuse of alcohol or other substances.
  • Estrangement, post-divorce issues and isolation from one’s family, friends and community because of one’s incarceration, with a possible sense of loneliness,fear and alienation.
  • A lack of community support of people who understand and help the person deal with day-to-day frustrations in his process of re-integration.
  • Difficulty in negotiating the social services provided by governments during the transition, including easy access to the medical system to ensure good physical and mental health.
  • The lack of an ability to budget and live within one’s means, to prioritize one’s needs, and to negotiate debts that may have accumulated as the result of one’s criminal history.
  • A lack of guidance in making connections for employment, job training, education, and the establishment of a credible work and credit history for future employment and independent accommodation.
  • A lack of the skills to reflect on one’s particular behaviours which, if left unchecked and unconscious, can harm oneself and one’s relationships in the larger community.
  • A lack of strong social skills in communicating and cooperating with others in a community or social setting, and negotiating differences of opinion and standards of behaviour.

Why is it so fundamental to address these issues for a successful transition?

 

   It is very important to understand how vulnerable the ex-offender is on leaving prison.  Whereas any of us may have to face some of the difficulties above, ex-offenders in their period of transition may have to face a variety of these challenges at the same time, and often without solid resources in the community.  Any of the areas above, if not attended to, can cause a lot of stress and desolation in the life of the ex-offender, and potentially cause the person to break the terms of parole or to re-offend. 


How does Future Hope attempt to address these difficulties?

 

   Future Hope is conscious of these areas and accompanies individuals leaving prison through the three aspects of the program – Next Step, Quixote House and Massie HouseNext Step is a community of volunteers and ex-offenders, on parole or at the end of their time in prison, who consciously reflect on healthy decision-making and deal with the issues that may come up week-to-week in the lives of individuals. The Next Step coordinator helps with the many day-to-day aspects of the transition from prison to Quixote House or halfway houses in the city.  Quixote House provides an affordable, drug- and alcohol-free environment.  All residents are expected to cook for each other and to participate in community-building activities in the house, including housekeeping and maintenance details.  Massie House is set up as transitional apartments for “graduates” of Quixote House in good standing who may find it difficult to get on their feet financially after only one year at Quixote. These may include people who have not yet found permanent or well-paying employment, or who still have substantial debts from before their time of incarceration.