On July 8, 2008 Greenhope broke ground on Candace House, a new residential treatment facility set to open in December of 2009. Located on East 119th Street, Candace House will serve both as the primary program site and administrative headquarters of Greenhope. The facility will serve 72 ex-offenders, an estimated 28 of whom will have children residing with them in the program. All residents will either be formerly homeless, in the process of transitioning from incarceration to independent living, or will have been referred to the program as an alternative to incarceration.
The need for Candace House is critical. Drug-related offenses are the primary reason behind the exponential growth of women involved in the criminal justice system. For the target population to successfully transition into permanent housing and become self-reliant, constructive members of their communities, extensive support services must be in place to address the underlying causes of their incarceration and substance abuse. Candace House will provide a safe environment where residents develop independent living skills through a variety of substance abuse treatment programs, counseling, and other services. If not for Candace House, these women would have no options other than incarceration, the New York City shelter system, or inappropriate and/or unsafe domicile.
Candace House will consist of 21 double units for single women and 28 family units that will each house one woman and one child. Twelve of the units for single women will be arranged into suites, each consisting of three double units and one bathroom. The remaining nine double units will be arranged into one suite of four units and one suite of five, each with two bathrooms. Twenty-four of the family units will be arranged into suites, each consisting of three family units and one bathroom. There will also be one additional suite consisting of four family units.
Two floors of the residence will be designated for single women, three floors for women and their children, and an additional two floors and the basement will serve as program space. All floors will have a communal space and two staff offices for counseling, monitoring, and crisis intervention. The basement, first and seventh floors will house program staff and administrative offices, classrooms, a kitchen, a medical center and pharmacy, rooms for program activities and a nursery and day care center. There will also be space for a community garden, and the backyard will be used for children's activities and by the adult women for structured recreational activities.
In addition to an array of treatment, counseling, educational and vocational programs, Candace House will provide a wide range of services specifically designed for parents and their families. At the time they come to Candace House, many residents will not have lived with their children as a family unit for months or even years. These women are also at widely different stages in their custodial relationship with their children, which is why Candace House will offer a dynamic, flexible approach to each woman and her individual situation. By providing a safe and supportive environment where the residents can learn to become responsible parents and develop more positive relationships with their children, Candace House will provide the structure and supervision necessary for the women to succeed in caring for and nurturing their children and to stay drug-free and out of jail. Support structures will also be in place to assist single women as they start to pursue contact with their children and seek custody.
All of the residents of Candace House will be referred by the New York
State Division of Parole; the Division of Probation and Correctional
Alternatives; the New York City shelter system; Court facilities; other
service providers; other Greenhope programs; and self-referrals.