The relationship between homelessness and incarceration is, all too often, cyclical: nationwide, about 15 percent of people in jail or prison report some history of homelessness, and anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of individuals in homeless shelters have a history of incarceration. Surviving and escaping homelessness is challenging in any context. But for people exiting prison, the challenges are only compounded: even absent of homelessness, individuals with criminal histories often struggle to find work, locate stable housing, access services and integrate into their surrounding communities.
The Re-Entry program empowers people on parole to overcome personal challenges, connect to resources, locate employment and secure housing.
In 2014, Colorado enacted House Bill 14-1355, establishing and designating funds to the Work and Gain Education & Employment Skills (WAGEES) project. WAGEES, a multi-pronged initiative designed to reduce recidivism rates among parolees, through expanded and targeted funding for community-based programs, increased cooperation between the Department of Corrections and increase cooperation between the Department community-based service providers Senate Bill 15-124, signed in 2015, directed additional resources to the project.