Grace Haven Ministries, a nonprofit founded by Loretta Phalen, a former teacher and the wife of Fairfield County, Oh., Sheriff Dave Phalen, runs two houses that provide transitional housing for women who are freshly released from the county jail with nowhere else to go, or are recovering from drug addiction, or often both, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Stable housing is “critically important” for women, particularly if they also are receiving treatment for drug addiction or mental-health problems and are trying to reclaim their children, said Audrey Begun, an Ohio State University social-work professor whose research focuses on women's treatment needs after their release from jail or prison.
How long each woman might need to live in a “supportive” house varies from six months to a year or 18 months, Begun said. She endorses opening transitional houses in women's communities to help them rebuild family ties and support networks while re-entering society. How well such houses work depends on the quality of the professional therapy the women receive, Begun said. “The house is an opportunity. What they do with it depends on them,” Phalen said.