ReUnite provides support to women to help them be reunited with their children upon their release from prison.
Around one-third of female prisoners lose their home whilst in prison. On release, they are classified as intentionally homeless and not entitled to social housing. If they are assessed, it is as a single person and they are not considered for housing suitable for a family, making it impossible for a woman to be reunited with her children.
Housing for Women was a pioneer of ReUnite and the first organisation in the UK to deliver services specifically for women leaving prison, to help them to access housing and regain custody of their children.
We work with prison resettlement teams and probation services to support women up to 3 months prior to release and up to 12 months following their release from custody.
ReUnite provides a programme of personalised holistic support to both the women and their children empowering them to secure appropriate accommodation and gain the life skills needed to begin rebuilding their lives together.
(September 2016-October 2017)
Tracey’s story is similar to many other women coming out of custody and facing homelessness with no hope for a positive future.
Tracey was referred to ReUnite on release from prison following a sentence for theft. In the years leading up to her prison sentence, Tracey had experienced long-term domestic abuse, increasingly problematic drug use and the removal of her child from her care. ReUnite supported Tracey to secure accommodation, remain drug-free and avoid re-offending. After some time, Tracey became pregnant with twins and though this should have been a happy time she was fearful for her future and the future of all of her children. ReUnite supported Tracey to find accommodation large enough to house the whole family and make an application to the family court to have her older child returned to her. Six months on Tracey and is settled and happy in her new home and hopeful that the whole family will be able together in a safe and secure home.
“It’s been very up and down. There has been a lot of change as I have had to move to a new area, away from family and friends and am now the mother of twin boys. I would probably still be homeless if it wasn’t for ReUnite. Having a home means everything – to have my own place, a roof over our head and somewhere warm and safe for me and my babies mean the world”.
* Real name not used
This is a short film which documents a woman’s journey through our ReUnite service. The video was commissioned by our partner agency, Commonweal as part of their 10 year anniversary to highlight the partnership work they do.