Who we help
Our ReUnite project works with mothers leaving prison who would otherwise be homeless. Caught in an appalling 'Catch 22' situation, upon release from prison a woman is generally unable to get her children back from social care or family arrangements unless she has somewhere suitable to live. However, she is often not entitled to suitable housing, unless her children are living with her. On release, women are often classified as intentionally homeless and not entitled to social housing.
ReUnite's vital programme of personalised holistic support to women ex-offenders and their children empowers them to secure appropriate accommodation and begin rebuilding their lives together.
How we help
- Supported Accommodation - We provide supported accommodation with space for group work and therapeutic services. Experienced support workers provide advocacy, practical and emotional support for issues including employment, debt, practical living skills and community involvement
- Floating Support Services - We provide support and advocacy services to help women secure accommodation through a range of housing providers. This is available to women across all London Boroughs
- Support for children and young people - Our dedicated Children and Young People's Support Workers directly support children of our service users, helping them re-establish healthy bonds with their mothers and overcome the trauma they may have experienced. They also advocate and liaise with social services and family courts where appropriate, regarding issues of contact and custody
Facts & Stats
- Half of female prisoners are left homeless after their release from prison. (Source: IMB study, 2018)
- Each year around 17,700 children are separated from their mother by imprisonment (Source: Home Office)
- 66% of women in prison are mothers with dependent children (Source: Ministry of Justice)
- Our project reoffending rate is less than 2% vs the national average of 48% re-offending within 12 months of release
- Housing for Women was a pioneer of the original ReUnite initiative. In partnership with Commonweal, we were the first organisation in the UK to deliver services specifically for women leaving prison, to help them access housing and regain custody of their children