Returning Home Saint Paul: A Beyond Backgrounds Partnership

Residents who are physically, emotionally, and financially secure, and who are connected to community supports, are less likely to become either an offender or victim of crime. A cross departmental City staff team worked with the Harvard Bloomberg Innovation Track team to use a human-centered design process to develop the Returning Home St. Paul (RHSP) pilot program, one of Mayor Melvin Carter's Community First Public Safety Initiatives.

What is Returning Home Saint Paul (RHSP)?

RHSP is a partnership between the City of Saint Paul,  HousingLink and Ujamaa Place designed to help successfully house residents returning to the community from incarceration.

This program builds off of the current offering from HousingLink, Beyond Backgrounds, and creates a Saint Paul specific program that enhances the current offerings on the market. HousingLink will serve as the access fund administrator and provide technical and navigational program support to the city and partner organizations.

The access fund provides reimbursement for the following expenses that exceed normal wear and tear and the security deposit:

  • Damage to property
  • Unpaid rent
  • Court filing fees in case of eviction

Participants will also have access to financial support for application fees and security deposits.

Ujamaa Place will provide comprehensive wraparound support to the households during the course of the pilot. RHSP will leverage community partnerships’ relationships and knowledge to enhance the coordination of resources for residents and property owners.

Ujamaa Place will provide the following supports:

  • Serve as Housing Navigators for residents and landlords
  • Provide supportive services and case management
  • Make connections to additional tenant resources as needed
  • Provide tenant education and support positive landlord tenant relationships

RHSP will be implemented and tested over the course of 18 months with a goal of housing 20 residents total and supporting them in maintaining housing stability.

I'm a landlord and I'd like to rent to a Returning Home Saint Paul participant. What should I do?

If you are a Saint Paul landlord interested in supporting this pilot, please contact Housinglink. You can list your vacancies on the HousingLink platform and indicate your willingness to support Beyond Backgrounds. Ujamaa Place will connect program participants to available housing opportunities during their housing search.

List an open unit on HousingLink. Have questions or want to discuss in more detail? Email: Kahari Smith-Brewer ksmithbrewer@housinglink.org.

I'm a resident interested in Returning Home Saint Paul. What should I do?

If you are a returning resident seeking housing support through this pilot, please contact Ujamaa Place. Ujamaa will identify program participants eligible for this opportunity.

Learn more about Ujamaa programing. Have questions or want to discuss in more detail? Email: Faith Lofton faith_lofton@ujamaaplace.org

For general inquiry’s related to Returning Home Saint Paul:

Email Kirstin Burch Kirstin.Burch@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Last Edited: March 22, 2021