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Wayne County contributes $100K to ex-offender program

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans presented a $100,000 contribution Friday to a program designed to help ex-offenders stay out of jail.

Evans gave the funding to the Detroit Recovery Project for its Tenant Based Rental Recovery Support Housing Program, which provides rental assistance and support services to ex-offenders who exit the Wayne County Jail.

He made the presentation Friday morning at the Detroit Recovery Project’s main office on East McNichols.

“Recidivism is a major problem in the ex-offender community,” Evans said in a statement Friday. “Historically, four in 10 adult offenders return to prison within three years of release. The outcomes (this) program experienced with this difficult population are remarkable.”

The Detroit Recovery Project, an agency that provides drug recovery and support services, started the housing program for ex-offenders last year.

Wayne County contributed $250,000 to help launch the program.

Officials said during its pilot year, the program provided rental assistance and support services to 28 ex-offenders who exited a county jail.

Before they were placed in apartments, the ex-offenders were assigned case managers and required to stay sober, reunite with family and work toward long-term employment. They receive financial literacy instruction, mental health services and adult education classes.

They also are subject to random drug tests and required to attend weekly Alcohol Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Officials said of the 28 participants in the pilot program, four dropped out and three of those were incarcerated again. They also said 24 remain substance-free and eight are moving into independent living facilities.

“We believe that by helping our clients rebuild each part of themselves, they can become whole again,” said Andre Johnson, the Detroit Recovery Project’s CEO. “This housing project allows us the opportunity to continue this mission in helping Detroiters who were once on the streets become drug-free and productive citizens.”

For information about the Detroit Recovery Project, log on to

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