The Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland, Oregon, recognizes that tens of thousands of Oregonians have criminal records. The Oregon Health Authority that about 26,000 people are released from jails and 5,500 people from federal and state prisons back into the community every year. Data show that people of color are more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. People who have experienced incarceration or jail are more likely to experience higher rates of poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental health needs. There is growing recognition that successful reintegration into society for individuals involved in the criminal justice-system benefits those individuals, their families, and the broader community. Data from the Prison Policy Initiative show that housing can be a powerful pathway for individuals involved in the criminal justice-system to transition out of the cycle of incarceration and back into the community or workforce and reduces the likelihood of an individual returning to jail or prison.
A new funding opportunity from Meyer aims at increasing access to and retention of private-market units for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved by supporting effective strategies that engage private-market landlords and management companies as partners.
To support that goal, Meyer anticipates awarding up to $1 million over two years to projects with a proven track record of working with justice-involved individuals and effective strategies that support housing placement in private-market housing. Funding awarded through the RFP is intended to help sustain or expand existing projects and strengthen organizations with existing services for justice-involved people looking to add housing placement support services. (Justice-involved individuals are considered to be people previously involved in the criminal justice system, people who will be released within ninety days, or those under correctional community supervision.)
To that end, MMT invites proposals that will increase access to quality private-market housing units for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved. Grants will support projects with a clearly defined set of activities that are carefully planned and designed to achieve a specific outcome or goal. Projects generally must have a beginning and end date.
Meyer will make up to $1 million in grant funds available through this RFP. Individual will range up to maximum of $150,000 over two years, with most grants in the range of $60,000 to $75,000 per year.
Meyer's GrantIS system will open for applications on June 22 (registration required), and applications are due July 29 at 5:00 p.m. PST. Award decisions will be made in late November, and funds will be made available in January. (Applicants should be prepared for site visits questions anytime in September and October.)
Meyer staff will present an overview of the RFP and answer questions during an online information session on Wednesday, July 8, at 11:00 a.m. PST. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory. (To attend, please visit the Eventbrite registration page.)
For additional informational, see the Meyer Memorial Trust website.