Bridging the Gap
The Ketchikan Reentry Coalition seeks to support reentrants in five focus areas: housing, employment & meaningful engagement, healthcare, cultural & community connection, and transportation. Our members are actively developing these services, working with Department of Corrections, behavioral & physical health providers, employers, landlords, tribal organizations, and community leaders to provide robust, holistic supports for reentrants.
Launched in November of 2018, the KRC Reentry Navigation Service provides direct support to reentrants transitioning back to our community. This six-month transitional support program is designed to help returning individuals obtain the services and resources they need, specifically focusing on the following factors: housing, employment, physical and behavioral healthcare, transportation, and community connectedness. Each client is assigned a Reentry Navigator who will assist with creating a transition plan, identifying needs and goals, and accessing services and supports available to reentrants in the Ketchikan area.
Taking a holistic approach, Navigators work with reentrants, Alaska Department of Corrections, service providers, landlords, employers, and more to assist with coordinating care. Navigators work to help clients problem-solving issues that arise, and create a community of support for each client. This is the primary means by which services will be delivered to reentrants, working to assess the needs of each individual and connect them with support service agencies, including behavioral & physical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, rental assistance, cultural supports, and more.
As of June 2018, the KRC established four committees tasked with developing and implementing key supports.
The Care Coordination Committee established a cross-agency team that developed and continues to support the Reentry Navigation Service, as well as other efforts to provide direct support to reentrants.
training & development
Many reentrants have had limited opportunities to learn the skills necessary to be successful in our community. This committee will develop training courses for individuals returning to the community, covering topics like budgeting, employment-related skills, renting, and more.
As noted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (www.samhsa.gov), peer support specialists are playing an increasingly critical role in care planning for behavioral health consumers, acting as relatable mentors able to meet clients where they are at, helping them navigate complex healthcare systems, promoting social inclusion, and advocating for clients' needs. This committee will work with existing peer support services in Ketchikan and help connect reentrants with this important resource.
Reentrants face significant barriers when returning to the community. The stigma associated with a criminal record often severely limits where they can live and work. The Networking Committee seeks to counter that bias by educating employers and landlords of important resources and benefits available to those who hire and rent to returning individuals (such as fidelity bonding, rental assistance, and more) and establish networks of reentrant-friendly employers and landlords.