Tulsa has been selected as one of four communities/entities to participate in the launch of the Just Home Project, a national program designed to advance community-driven efforts to break the link between housing instability and jail incarceration.The program will benefit local community partners including Family & Children’s Services (F&CS) Women in Recovery (WIR).
“Family & Children’s Services is thrilled to partner with other Tulsa providers to eliminate discriminatory screening processes, expensive application requirements and long waiting lists, ultimately providing mothers and children with housing access critical for long-term stability which is too often denied due to criminal-legal entanglement,” said Mimi Tarrasch, Chief Program Officer, Women in Recovery & Women’s Justice Programs.
“Housing justice is about building a relentless organizing base of people fighting for housing as a basic human right. It is the most basic of human dignity! It is essential to understand that providing long-term housing is critical for justice involved individuals to restore personal security, self-sufficiency and dignity. Thanks to the Just Home project and the generosity of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, F&CS clients will be able to obtain long-term housing access critical for a nurturing, safe environment.”
The Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity (TAEO) is the lead applicant in Tulsa for the project whose work through the grant is supported by a broad range of community partners in behavioral health, housing policy, and criminal justice who have helped lay the foundation for this work.
“When we look at data on the drivers of homelessness and housing insecurity in Tulsa, the impact of incarceration becomes glaringly apparent,” said Kian Kamas, TAEO Executive Director. “We are honored to have the opportunity to work alongside key partners in Tulsa who have been deeply engaged in criminal justice policy and programs, and who are committed to partnering in new and innovative ways to identify housing solutions for some of Tulsa’s most vulnerable residents, with the goal of breaking the cycle of incarceration. We know that housing is critical to any individual’s long-term economic success, and are excited to learn from the three other communities in this initiative as we collectively seek to develop targeted housing investment action plans for justice-involved residents.”
The initiative is led by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Urban Institute. TAEO’s selection includes an initial nearly $370,000 grant from MacArthur to create a plan to address the impact of incarceration on housing instability in Tulsa, along with technical assistance and coordination provided by the Urban Institute.
Following a planning process, TAEO will be eligible to receive an investment from MacArthur from a $15 million pool of impact investment funds to implement plans and acquire or develop housing for populations that are not being served by current housing resources. Because of this initiative, F&CS WIR participants will be provided with more stable housing, which ensures a successful and productive life.
In addition to Tulsa, other communities selected for the Just Home Project include Charleston County, South Carolina; Minnehaha County, South Dakota; City and County of San Francisco, Calif Each jurisdiction will work alongside key housing and criminal justice partners to develop and implement cross-organizational strategies to break the cycle of homelessness and ultimately incarceration in their communities.
All four communities will have the opportunity to receive additional support from MacArthur in the form of an impact investment, which expand MacArthur’s capacity to achieve its philanthropic goals.
By coupling grant funding with investment capital, this demonstration project seeks to unlock local government innovation, absorb risk that housing providers are hesitant to take, and provide much-needed support for people in danger of remaining trapped in a cycle of housing instability and jail.
About Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery
Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery (WIR) is an intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses. Operated in partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, WIR works closely with the criminal justice system and various community partners to ensure program participants receive supervision, substance abuse and mental health treatment, education, workforce readiness training and family reunification services.
About Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity
The Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity (TAEO) formally launched in July 2021 and seeks to increase economic opportunity in Tulsa through the strategic management of public assets and resources. The Authority streamlines and strengthens the City’s economic development efforts through the merging of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (MOED), Tulsa Industrial Authority (TIA), Tulsa Parking Authority (TPA), and Economic Development Commission (EDC) into a single, enhanced Public Trust. TAEO is governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees and provides staffing for, and oversees the operations of, the Tulsa Development Authority (TDA).
About the MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago. MacArthur also is committed to building the field of impact investing and providing catalytic capital to address social and environmental challenges around the world. Learn more about the Foundation’s Criminal Justice reform and Impact Investment programs.
About the Urban Institute
The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that provides data and evidence to help advance upward mobility and equity. We are a trusted source for changemakers who seek to strengthen decision making, create inclusive economic growth, and improve the well-being of families and communities. For more than 50 years, Urban has delivered facts that inspire solutions-and this remains our charge today.