Do you have a heart for those returning to society after several years in prison? Many do not have families or other support groups anymore. And the world has changed tremendously during their absence. So, the odds are generally against them having a successful transition back into society. Ephesians 4:28 Ministries wants to help them as they adjust to their new lives. Our goal is to provide productive housing to those that we can. Beyond the housing, we have specific plans about how to help them succeed. For more information about this aspect of our direction, please click onto REENTRY in the tool bar.
We do not have a specific location targeted yet for HomeHouse; our goal is to save money until we have enough to rent a house to use for this purpose. So far we have received $950 in donations toward this goal, and we will add to this as it is received.
We need your help reaching this goal. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which makes your donation tax deductible. Please consider helping us. If you wish to do so, you can click onto DONATIONS on the tool bar above and that will take you to the page where donations can be made through PayPal. Thank you for your thoughtful generosity.
HomeHouse will be for all men released from incarceration. However, whenever possible, the men in the Dr. Regina B. Shearn Corrections Transition Program (CTP) will receive the highest priority. This is the only program there is that works specifically with long term offenders who are nearing a release date. The average length of their incarceration is 30-plus years. The CTP has been working with these men for the past 21 years and has a remarkable success rate. The CTP is a nonprofit organization. For more information about this program go to https://www.facebook.com/correctionstransitionprogram/?ref=bookmarks.
HOMEHOUSE RESIDENT HANDBOOK
Ephesians 4:28 Ministries, Inc.
We want you to consider this house as your home. In homes, as well as in society, there must be rules so that everything runs smoothly, and the rights of the individual are not infringed upon. This is your home for a chosen period of time, you will be expected to take care of it, which includes not only taking care of your personal needs (such as bathing, cooking, and laundry) but also the needs of the house in general. It is important to remember that it will be your behavior and attitude that will determine how many rules this house has. Let us try to keep the rules down to a minimum.
Residents: Everyone is here for the same reason you are. They are striving for independence and a chance for a rich and fulfilling life. You will treat each other courteously and with respect. No one will make fun of, belittle, tease, or generally demean another individual. There will be no yelling, cussing or name-calling. If you are having a problem with a fellow resident, take a time out with a friend or staff. If it is a problem that affects everyone, consider bringing it up to the Residential Manager. Do not jeopardize your future at
HOMEHOUSE because of a possible misunderstanding.
Residential Manager: The Residential Manager is not your servant or your guard. He is someone who wants to see you reach your goals and is here to offer assistance when he can. He will always treat you with respect, and you should return that respect. The Residential Manager is here to support your efforts in meeting your goals. He is also here to ensure that no Program or House rules are violated. You can turn to the Residential Manager at any time for guidance and assistance in problem resolution.
Transitional Living Center: HOMEHOUSE is a dorm style residency in a beautifully maintained Hollywood appartment complex. HOMEHOUSE provides a clean, safe, structured, sober living environment that allows residents to utilize the resources available to them. Residents may stay at HOMEHOUSE until independent living is obtained. It is important that we take care of the house, its furnishings and the surrounding grounds. Everyone should clean up after himself or herself, thus keeping the house neat and clean.
The primary goal of this program is to help you transition from prison to a stable home environment. By addressing barriers that hinder self-sufficiency, we will aid you in meeting your goal to secure permanent housing and income.
Rules and Guidelines
The facility rules inform residents of their obligation upon which their continued residency at HOMEHOUSE depends on.
HOMEHOUSE Hours: Monday through Friday residents will arise no earlier than 5:00 a.m. and no later than 8:00 a.m. On Saturday and Sunday, residents may remain in their bed until 9:00 a.m. as long as it does not interfere with any house activity and/or cleaning detail. Sunday through Thursday residents are expected to Sign-In to the facility by l0:00 p.m. and "Lights Out" by 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday residents are expected to Sign-In to the facility by l0 p.m. and "Lights Out" by 1:00 a.m. You have a responsibility not only to yourself but also to the social environment in which you live. A part of this responsibility entails learning self-discipline and how to manage your time effectively.
Resident Accountability: To ensure that all residents can be reached or located in an emergency it is important that you abide by the following guidelines. It is your responsibility to inform the House
Manager of your departure and return to the facility. You are to do so by utilizing the Sign-In - Sign-Out Log indicating the date, time, and purpose of the intended destination. It is your responsibility to call and inform staff if you are not able to return by the designated return time. It is extremely important to check in upon your return so that you are not considered for discharge from the program.
Meetings: You are expected to participate weekly in two (2) or more of the following meetings Job
Club, Life Skills, Chemical Dependency as well as two (2) outside support meetings such as NA or AA. In addition, you are also required to meet with the Residential Manager once per week for an individual one (1) hour session. The HOMEHOUSE Residential Manager must approve any combination of the above listed activities. Attendance to these assigned activities is mandatory. Residential Manager must excuse any absences.
Visiting Rules and Guidelines: Visitors will be allowed as long as it does not interfere with any house groups, meeting schedules, or other house activities. Visitation hours are from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM all
week. All visitors must present themselves to the Residential Manager upon arrival and prior
to visiting the resident. All visitors must sign the guest book and show proper identification to the residential Manager. You will be limited to a maximum of two (2) adults with one (1) child per adult at any one time. Visitors and visitation will be limited to the living room and dining room. At no time are visitors allowed in the bedrooms. Visitors are only to use the common restroom with the permission of the Residential Manager. Sexual contact between visitors and residents is not permitted on or around the facility. A brief kiss or hug upon arrival or departure is permitted. Visitors appearing to be under the influence of drugs or
alcohol will not be allowed on the property. Visitors must wear proper attire. No low-cut tops, halter tops, tops that expose bare midriff, see through/fishnet clothing shorts/dresses shorter than 1" above the knee, clothing that advertises alcohol or drugs, gang affiliated clothing or colors.
Personal Property: You will be assigned a locker and limited closet space for your clothes and personal possessions. All of your property must fit neatly into the locker closet, so only bring clothing and items that you will need for daily living. Slippers are highly recommended due to health regulations. Footwear must be worn at all times.
Dress Code: You should dress respectfully at all times. Staff reserves the right to approve or disapprove of any clothing being worn at HOMEHOUSE.
Medication: All medication must be prescribed by a doctor and stored with the Residential Manager. It is your responsibility to take your medication as prescribed by the Doctor. NO NARCOTIC MEDICATION IS ALLOWED ON THE PREMISES OR TO BE TAKEN BY YOU WHILE YOU ARE A RESIDENT HERE, EVEN WITH A DOCTORS PRESCRIPTION. Failure to Return and Securing of Personal Property: In the event that you fail to return to the facility, all of your personal property items will be stored and secured by staff. You have a maximum of thirty (30) days to pick up your belongings or they will be donated to the program. You may only pick up your property Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Storage of Valuables: You are entitled to a secure and safe storage place to store your valuables during your stay here at HOMEHOUSE. You will be given a combination lock for your assigned locker space. Staff will not hold any moneys nor provide any additional storage space for your valuables. Staff will not be held responsible for lost or missing items.
Search of Facility and Property: Random searches of the house, surrounding grounds, and resident personal property will be conducted in order to prevent the use or storage of drugs or alcohol, inappropriate paraphernalia, firearms or other types of weapons. As a condition of your residency, you
have agreed to these inspections. Your cooperation during these times is expected and appreciated.
Out of Bound Areas: You are not allowed to be in any area of the complex other than your own apartment, or the office/computer class or the outside smoking area and laundry room. The Residential Manager office and supply closet are considered to be "Out of Bound" areas if a staff member is not present. Any restroom, pantry space, food compartment, closet or locker space being occupied by another resident is also considered being an "Out of Bound" area.
Resident Room Checks: Your room will be inspected between the hours of 8a.m. to 8 :30a.m. Monday through Friday and by 12 noon on Saturday and Sunday. You will be expected to have made your
bed and clothing and personal items will be neatly stored in your locker or closet. No food or drinks are allowed in any room other than the dining and kitchen area.
Chores: You will be assigned one or more chore(s), other than your bedroom, in order to keep the house neat, clean, and in healthy condition at all times. This will also help staff to evaluate your progress towards learning independent living skills.
Kitchen: You are responsible for the preparation of your own meals as well as the clean-up.Kitchen hours are Sunday through Friday 6a.m. to 8a.m. (breakfast), 12 noon to 2p.m. (lunch), 6p.m. to 9p.m. (dinner). Saturday & Sunday kitchen is open all day!
Laundry: You will be responsible for washing and drying your own laundry. For hygienic purposes, you will be required to launder your clothes once (1) per week and all linens once per (1) week. Laundry hours are Monday through Sunday between 8a.m. to 8p.m. You must utilize the "Laundry Sign-up List" in order to reserve a two (2) hour time slot in which you can wash or dry your items. You must have staff sign off on your linen.
Restroom: All personal belongings must be removed from the restroom and shower areas after use.
No two (2) persons are allowed in the restroom at one time unless the door is left open. The restroom door should never be left open while in use.
Mail: Outgoing mail can be dropped off at the nearest postal station. You are responsible for your own writing materials and postage. Staff may request that mail or package deliveries be opened in their presence for health and safety reasons. You must first provide staff with a copy of any financial documentation that is received in the mail. When a resident leaves HOMEHOUSE he cannot have his mail forwarded since HOMEHOUSE is a business. You must contact senders directly and give them your new address.
Telephone: There are no telephones provided for your use. Use of the Residential Managers office phone for work related or emergency phone calls are at the discretion of the Residential Manager. The Residential Manager must remain present during the use of the office phone. Cell phones are permitted at the resident's expense. Telephone use that interferes with house groups, chores, or other house activities will not be permitted. Telephone hours are Sunday through Thursday 8a.m. to 1 0:30p.m, Friday and Saturday 8a.m. to 11:30p.m. Residents must be respectful of their roommates when talking on their cell phones.
Transportation: All motor vehicles must have valid registration and insurance. All operators must possess a valid driver's license. Proof of the above items must be provided in order to park a
vehicle on HOMEHOUSE property. No vehicle repairs or maintenance are to be performed on HOMEHOUSE property. HOMEHOUSE will not be held responsible for any theft or damage to a resident vehicle or their guest's vehicle. As a courtesy and depending on donations, there may be a limited number of house bicycles that you may check out while residing at HOMEHOUSE. In order to check out a house bike you must be a HOMEHOUSE resident for at least two weeks. You may also own your own bicycle. There are numerous bus stops located near the facility. Staff is not responsible for transporting you to and from your destinations.
Smoking: You are responsible for providing your own cigarettes; staff will not purchase or provide
cigarettes for you. There is no borrowing or lending of cigarettes between staff or residents. All smoking and chewing is prohibited in the house, there is a designated smoking area in the outside courtyard. Please use the ash trays; any disregard of the smoking regulations could result in the permanent loss of all smoking privileges.
Resident Personal Safety: You are ultimately responsible for your own personal safety. HOMEHOUSE will make every reasonable attempt to assure the personal safety of its residents. You must report to staff if you perceive any real threat to your safety.
Emergencies: In case of fire, notify staff and residents by pulling the nearest fire alarm. Exit the building by proper emergency evacuation routes. A practice fire drill will be performed monthly, once during each shift. In case of injury or illness, notify staff, and staff will take appropriate action. In case of a hurricane, management will decide on evacuation and notify all residents. If evacuation is mandated by the county, residents must abide with evacuation and remove or secure their personal belongings. In case of a hurricane, HOMEHOUSE will not be responsible for property left on the premises.
Grievance: All grievances will be executed fairly and consistently. A set procedure is outlined, followed in secession and must be initiated no longer than ten (10) days after adverse action has occurred. The grievance process begins with an informal negotiation. We encourage you to try to resolve any problems with staff or residents in an informal discussion. The grievance shall be put forth in a frank and fair discussion. A meeting shall be held to allow residents the opportunity to voice their views safely. If the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction, within three (3) working days you may submit a written grievance to the Program Director. You may request a grievance form from office staff. The Program Director will review the grievance with the appropriate parties involved, and a written response will be returned to you within three (3) business days. You may then initial and return a copy of the grievance form stating that you are satisfied with the end result or appeal the response to the next level of review. This same process will then be addressed by the HOMEHOUSE Board.
Defining Sexual Harassment & Fraternizing: As defined by law, sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, and visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It includes suggestive remarks, unwanted touching, and pressure for sexual behavior regardless of gender.
Random Drug Testing: Random drug testing of residents will be conducted in order to prevent the use of drugs or alcohol. As a condition of your residency, you have agreed to these tests. Your cooperation during these times will be expected and appreciated.
Grounds for Dismissal: Grounds for dismissal include but are not limited to the following. Use of drugs or alcohol, abuse of prescription medications, fraternizing, violence, threats to staff or residents, harassment, racial remarks, all criminal behavior including theft, forgery, and possession of contraband or weapons, intentional destruction of HOMEHOUSE property, gambling or being present at any type of gambling establishment, or reoccurring rules violations.
Rules and Level Violations
"HOMEHOUSE shall endeavor to ensure the safety of all residents, facilitate goal attainment, and promote the smooth daily operation of the program."
To accomplish this, the residents have a responsibility to themselves and the environment in which they are now living. They will be held accountable for social and personal responsibilities, which will include the following house and program rules, and guidelines. Residents are responsible for their own actions and will accept the consequences of those actions. If they have any questions, residents are told to feel free to ask and discuss it with any staff person. The rules are divided into three different levels. Each level with its own consequences for non-compliance. Residents are to familiarize themselves with these rules and the subsequent consequences. If they believe that they have been accused or treated unjustly any level of violation, they have the right to appeal using the "Grievance Procedure for Residents" listed in their resident handbook.
Consequences for minor Level I violations may consist of counseling, written warning, incident report, loss of privileges and/or any combination thereof. These violations shall include, but not be limited to: I. Disregard for staff instructions. 2. Missing appointments or groups without cause. 3. Up after "Lights out". 4. Use of profanity. 5. In bed after 9:00 AM. 6. Littering. 7. Disrespect for other residents’ rights. 8. Failure to return to facility on time. 9. Failure to maintain sleeping area. 10. Failure to complete assigned house duties. 11. Failure to clean up after oneself 12. Failure to keep self and/or clothing clean and neat. 13. Selling, borrowing, or lending to/from residents or staff 14. Being in an "Out of bounds" area.
Level II intermediate violations are defined as those that are more serious than minor program violations, but not serious enough to warrant serious disciplinary consequences. Level II consequences consist of: written warning, incident report, indefinite loss of privileges, counseling, re-evaluation of housing contract, and/or any combination thereof. In extreme cases, a formal staff meeting may be called to determine the resident's suitability to the HOMEHOUSE Program. Level II violations shall include, but not be limited to: 1. Verbal confrontations/threats toward staff or residents. 2. Leaving the facility without proper processing. 3. Allowing guests into the facility without proper processing. 4. Sexual misconduct. 5. Smoking in an undesignated area. 6. Deliberate misuse of facility property. 7. Gambling. 8. Positive breath/urine analysis. 9. Pattern of repeated Level I rule violations.
Level III consists of serious violations and is defined as any action which poses a real threat to residents, staff or the facility. It also includes any violation of local, state, or federal laws.Level III consequences shall consist of, but not limited to: a formal staff meeting, re-evaluation of program contract, re-evaluation of resident's suitability in program, termination of services to resident, and criminal prosecution
Level III violations shall include, but not limited to: 1. Physical confrontation with staff. I 2. Assault/fighting with another resident. 3. Self-mutilation. 4. Vandalism of the facility or the grounds. 5. Vandalism to staff or resident personal property. 6. Theft of staff's, resident's, or the HOMEHOUSE's property. 7. Positive drug or alcohol testing. 8. Breaking any local, state or federal law. 9. Refusal to comply with emergency/safety instructions. 10. Use or possession of drugs or alcohol. 11. Possession of any drug or alcohol paraphernalia. 12. Use or possession of any weapon. 13. Possession of any item intended to be utilized as a weapon, 14. Any abuse which is sexual, racial, or religious in nature. 15. Repeated Level I or Level II violations.