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Cameo House: A Partnership to Help Mothers Succeed

San Francisco Chief Probation Officer Wendy Still, CJCJ Deputy Director Dinky Manek Enty, and CJCJ Director of Women's Services Danielle Evans at Cameo House.

CJCJ Media

Reentry for formerly incarcerated people is often a difficult process given the challenges of finding stable employment and housing necessary for a second chance at success. This process is even more challenging for those who are also parents, given the need to support their children. Unfortunately, this challenge has recently grown more significant. A recent study found that approximately half of the 2.3 million people who are incarcerated also have children under the age of 18. 

CJCJ’s Cameo House is a supportive transitional housing program for formerly incarcerated homeless mothers in San Francisco. These mothers often struggle with substance abuse, mental health, and finding employment. Cameo House not only provides housing, but also offers other supportive services to help these women succeed. These services include counseling, employment training, and group therapy. Clients can live in the facility with at most two of their children for up to two years, until they complete this transition process.

In partnership with the San Francisco Adult Probation Department, Cameo House is also now open as an alternative sentencing program for pregnant and parenting women in San Francisco County. On November 14, CJCJ announced this exciting new development by welcoming key partners and systems leaders to the house. Speakers at the reception included San Francisco Chief Probation Officer Wendy Still and Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi who highlighted the need for community-based programs that address the unique needs for formerly incarcerated mothers.

Ultimately, the success of Cameo House is due to the hard work of the women and their children. The clients illustrate the importance of gender-responsive and culturally competent programs. Such reentry services strengthen families by keeping them together, while also building a foundation of local and sustainable support networks.

 

Keywords: alternatives to incarceration, Brian Goldstein, Cameo House, children of incarcerated parents, San Francisco, women

Posted in Blog, Model Local Practices

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