Who We Are
The Way Home, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Georgetown, Delaware. Our mission is to free individuals from the cycle of crime and despair by providing them with holistic support after prison that generates hope, self-sufficiency and connection to the community. Since 1998, The Way Home has helped hundreds of ex-offenders to stay out of prison, providing comprehensive case management to participants for less than one-sixth of the cost of incarceration. The Way Home aims for no more than 5 percent recidivism among participants and seeks to eliminate recidivism among participants altogether.
Who We Serve
Although the majority of The Way Home’s participants are transitioning from prison to the Sussex County area, the program also provides limited assistance to ex-offenders who are relocating to other areas. Participants come to The Way Home by word of mouth, outreach by our program or referral from prison staff. Often, The Way Home meets with a prospective participant before their release and begins making plans for their transition to the community. We believe in and have witnessed the power of individuals to change, but also recognize that lasting change is a careful and lengthy process. Therefore, we offer our services for up to three years after release from prison and welcome participants to stay in contact beyond that time.
What We Offer
Once released, The Way Home provides participants with critical supplies and assists them with securing safe and stable housing. Case management services include job search assistance, transportation to probation and other necessary appointments, support groups, mentoring and referrals to various social services.
The Way Home, Inc. currently manages one transitional home for male ex-offenders in Millsboro, Delaware. We are hoping to open a second transitional home for men later this year. These homes provide a safe, suitable and comfortable place for a participant to live while they are making the transition back to the community. Volunteer house mentors assist with supervision and support, while The Way Home staff provide case management services.
Why Support Our Program?
Each year in Delaware, approximately 20,000 inmates are released from prison into the community. Of these 20,000 inmates, it is estimated that 1,200 have been incarcerated for at least one year. Delaware mirrors national statistics in that 98 percent of all inmates in the state will eventually be released. Many inmates are released without any money, housing, plans for employment and without a network of support. Many of those released have a 6th grade education, a substance abuse problem, are in poor health or are at high risk for disease. According to the Bureau of Labor, 35 percent of those released have work-impairing disabilities – including mental illness. The most recent statistics indicate that over 50 percent of those released would return to prison due to new offenses within three years. Research reported in the January 11, 2007 New England Journal of Medicine revealed that within the first two weeks of release from prison, ex-offenders re-entering the community die at a rate of 12 times that of other individuals. The leading causes of death were drug overdose, cardiovascular disease, homicide, and suicide.
Aside from the cost of crime to the community, Delaware taxpayers are also paying an annual cost of approximately $30,000 per year to house one inmate in prison. The Way Home Program provides case management services for a participant for approximately $4,300 per year, less than one-sixth of the cost of incarceration.
In 2006, the University of Delaware (UDE) released the results of a 5 year study that compared the recidivism rates of ex-offenders who participated in The Way Home with those who did not and found that The Way Home participants were less likely to return to prison, especially during the first year of release. In 2004, the recidivism rate for Way Home participants (10 percent) was approximately half that of Department of Correction’s clients (21 percent).
The Way Home grew out of a church-sponsored prison Bible study where volunteers realized the desperate needs of men who were being released from Sussex Correctional Institution and took action to make a difference. The program began formal operation in 1998 under Children and Families First. After the first year of operation, The Way Home then became affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware and in 2006 became an independent, non-denominational, non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status.
The Way Home, Inc.
P.O. Box 1103
Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: 302-856-9870 Fax: 302-856-9871