In August, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Reentry Committee met with the new CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority, Charles Woodyard, and his staff.

The Reentry Committee brought its proposal for a Reentry Provider Housing Certificate to the CHA.  Key reentry providers such as Tony Lawery from Safer Foundation and Bob Dougherty of St. Leonard’s Ministries were on hand to answer any questions CHA staff had. Woodyard and his staff have agreed to work with us to craft and implement this new pilot program.

The most important things to know about this certificate program are:

  • A new certificate will be granted by reentry providers to outstanding participants who the provider believes would be successful in a Section 8 setting.
  • The chosen individuals are those whom the provider would stake their reputation.  During this pilot stage of the program there will be three providers (St. Leonard’s Ministries, Safer Foundation and Lutheran Social Services), with hopes of expanding in the future.
  • The certificate may be used to access a new or an existing voucher, without restrictions placed upon the individual due to their criminal background (mandatory HUD restrictions still apply)

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is very excited about this exciting new program and looks forward to a long-term relationship with CHA in which they will work together on ways to get many deserving individuals with backgrounds the housing support that they need to continue to pursue success in their lives.