201529 Small Group Discussion -- Housing and Reintegration in East and Central Harlem: Coming Home and No Place to Live

Saturday, November 7, 2009: 2:43 PM

Ann-Gel S. Palermo, MPH , Policy Workgroup, Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, New York, NY
Building on earlier work of reintegration of drug users after incarceration in Harlem, the Policy Work Group (PWG) of the Harlem Community & Academic Partnership identified access to housing as a major underlying barrier to reentry as it is an important factor for reintegration. According to the NYC Department of Corrections, approximately 100,000 people were released from city jails in 2005. Of the individuals that were released from NY State prisons, 60 percent returned to New York City. More than 80 percent of NYS prisoners originally come from low-income NYC neighborhoods, such as East and Central Harlem. With many individuals returning to these communities, the PWG utilized a community-based participatory research approach and conducted a qualitative study using focus groups to understand the perceptions about community reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals among public housing residents in northern Manhattan. Thirty-three public housing residents participated in the focus groups. All of the participants were either Latino or Black with an even mix of women and men ranging in ages from 19 to 61 years. This study suggests the need for more efficient and coordinated support and transitional services for formerly incarcerated individuals. Analysis of findings further suggest that residents are generally accepting and tolerant of formerly incarcerated individuals returning to live in their community depending on the crime and that having a place to stay is a critical factor for effective reintegration into society. Innovative housing solutions were also identified.

The HCAP PWG aims to utilize advocacy strategies using the principles of CBPR to influence policy decisions made by relevant stakeholders.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss CBPR principles in conducting research with local departments of health; 2. Evaluate policy scans so that identified policies overlap with community needs 3. Discuss how participatory analytic strategies can be used to translate CBPR related work into policy recommendations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as a faculty memmber/presenter in the past on this same issue
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.