CLEVELAND — Ohio releases more than 3,500 women from its prisons each year and women are more likely than men to face homelessness following their release, making housing an immediate need for them, according to the nonprofit "Welcome Home SIS."
That is where Angie Regan comes in, she is the founder of "Welcome Home SIS" which is a transitional housing and re-entry program for formerly incarcerated women.
"SIS stands for system impacted survivors. Not only are they our sisters in Christ, but they are system impacted," Regan explained.
She said the need for women-focused transitional housing is significant in the state of Ohio.
"Women are the fastest-growing prison population nationwide and in Ohio," she explained. "They are being incarcerated at twice the rate of men.”
The organization takes the women directly from prison and immediately works to get them on their feet and help them reintegrate back into society.
"The next day we get them set up with their Medicaid, their food benefits and right off the bat, their health is a priority because a lot of them come to us in poor health,” she said. "By week two, we take them to get their state ID. They trade in that prison ID card to get their state one. That’s a big deal, you know you don’t want to go to a job interview with a prison ID. I mean it works, but they don’t want to do that. They want a fresh start and be reintroduced to society.
She also teaches them valuable life skills like how to grow their own food in her garden.
"Eventually, these girls, the women that are in the house need to learn independence," she said. "So what’s better than growing your own food, you know?"