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HHS Office of Minority Health awards $2.4 million to support re-entry programs

Thursday, August 4, 2016

HHS Office of Minority Health awards $2.4 million to support re-entry programs

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced new grant awards totaling approximately $2.4 million to seven organizations to improve the health outcomes for minority and/or disadvantaged individuals in transition from jail to their communities. The Re-Entry Community Linkages (RE-LINK) program will connect individuals who are formerly incarcerated to community-based organizations that provide links to health care, including behavioral health care services, health care coverage, and social services such as housing, adult education, and employment assistance programs.

The seven organizations receiving the RE-LINK grants are:

Action Wellness Philadelphia PA $325,000
Arbor Circle Corporation Grand Rapids MI $356,688
Maricopa County Special Health Care District Phoenix AZ $300,300
Metropolitan Charities, Inc. St. Petersburg FL $375,000
Northwestern University Evanston IL $375,000
St. Louis Integrated Health Network St. Louis MO $280,154
The Fortune Society, Inc. Long Island City NY $375,000
The Regents of the University of California, UC San Diego La Jolla CA $374,999

“Successful re-entry requires multi-sector collaboration between job placement, housing, transportation, education, behavioral health, public health, health care and justice system organizations to improve the health, well-being, and safety of our communities,” said Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and director of the HHS Office of Minority Health. “All Americans, including those who have been formerly incarcerated and have paid their debt to society, should have the opportunity to reach their full potential for health.”

Every year, 11.4 million individuals cycle through local jails. Upon release from incarceration, transitional housing, or substance use disorder treatment programs, formerly incarcerated individuals may enter into a fragmented system that does not link them to appropriate health, behavioral health, social and supportive services, employment, mentoring, and housing. RE-LINK funding will strengthen efforts to address the barriers that exist for 18 - to 26 - year-olds in obtaining social services that improve the health outcomes for minority and disadvantaged re-entrants in transition from jail to their communities.

HHS is part of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a group of 22 federal agencies working together to improve outcomes for individuals leaving the justice system. RE-LINK grantee projects will demonstrate the effectiveness of multiple stakeholders within the public health system working together to implement a model transition process for the formerly incarcerated. The goals of the RE-LINK program are to improve coordination among the criminal justice, public health, social service, and private sectors to address access to health care for the re-entry population; reduce health disparities experienced by this population; increase access to needed public health, behavioral health, and social services; and reduce recidivism.

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12/28/2016 8:59:00 AM