Housing Preparedness Program
OpenDoors has developed a Housing Preparedness Program to assist individuals with criminal records in finding and keeping good housing and address the barriers and most common problems people face in their housing search.


Part I: Introduction, Barriers, Proof of Rehabilitation, and Types of Housing
The primary purpose of the introduction and orientation is to motivate clients and give them support as they progress in their housing search. The workshop will guide participants through goal-setting, developing realistic expectations, and identifying barriers to finding and keeping housing. Next, the workshop will discuss how to talk about a criminal record and what to gather as "proof of rehabilitation" to show to a landlord or housing provider that you will be a reliable tenant. Part I will conclude with an overview of the different types of housing programs and where to find information about each program that you can use to guide your search. Participants are encouraged to consider, as "homework", which type or types of housing would be most appropriate for them to pursue in both the short-term and the long-term.


Part II: Reading a Lease, Legal Rights, How To Be a Good Tenant, and Creating a Housing Search Plan
Part II will begin with a brief overview of the "homework" and types of housing, and launch right into a discussion of how to read a lease and what things to keep in mind about an apartment. Next, we will review legal rights including both tenant/landlord rights and responsibilities and how your criminal record may affect your housing search. From there, the session will begin a discussion about what makes a good tenant, how to ensure that you will reduce conflict in a housing situation, and what are appropriate move-in and move-out procedures. Finally, participants will work to develop individual housing search plans to guide their short-term and long-term housing plans, and we will discuss how to make phone calls about an apartment and how to present yourself at an interview.


Certificate awards and follow-up
Following completion of the program, all participants will receive an award certificate indicating that they have completed the Housing Preparedness program - a certificate which can be used as further "proof of rehabilitation" to landlords or as an entrance ticket into housing assistance services offered elsewhere in the state.


Graduates will also have the option of seeking additional help preparing for their housing search, including gathering proof of rehabilitation, writing letters or contacting creditors, getting a credit report, or identifying and contacting references.


Please contact our Resource Center at 401.781.5808 x100 with any questions.

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