How to Open a Halfway House in a Residential Community

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Appropriately referred to as “transitional housing," halfway homes are temporary housing facilities. They are created for individuals going through a dramatic transition in their lives. People in a variety of circumstances are assisted by transitional housing, but facilities typically target people in similar situations. Transitional housing is needed in communities plagued by crime, homelessness, domestic violence and substance abuse. When opening a transitional home in a residential neighborhood, you want to meet all requirements, and follow all state and or local regulations.

Select a resident audience. The homeless, young mothers, troubled teenagers, former penitentiary inmates, veterans, substance-abuse victims, and abused women are often prime candidates for transitional housing. If you would like to obtain more information about the specific need in your community, contact your local social-service department for area-specific needs.

Plan your venture. Once a resident audience is determined, you must decide what amenities and services you will offer your tenants. Transitional homes often offer a variety of services and amenities to the tenants—to not only make their stay comfortable, but also give them additional support to aid in their transition. This includes: counseling, meals, computer literacy training, resume writing and job placement assistance. Decide what level of assistance you are willing to offer your tenants, and determine what the monthly operating cost will be.

Register your business. Transitional homes normally register as nonprofit organizations with the secretary of state and seek nonprofit--classified as 501 (c)(3)--status with the Internal Revenue Service. Nonprofit status allows a business to operate without any income tax liability, and allows companies to benefit from government programs, surplus and grants, available to nonprofit organizations, according to IRS.gov. Contact your state's secretary of state to find out the procedures for registering your business. You will also want to find out if there are any zoning requirements imposed by the local government regarding transitional housing.

Secure a facility. Find a location close to community colleges, high schools, public transportation, health care facilities, and places of potential employment. Finding a location near these places will offer increased convenience for your tenants.

Contact neighborhood residents. It is not uncommon for transitional homes to face opposition from neighborhoods. Altercations and protests from neighborhood residents can be avoided by talking to residents of the neighborhood and explaining how the existence of the transitional home is beneficial to the community.

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About the Author

After obtaining his Doctorate of Divinity (1997), Robert A. Benson began writing articles, proposals and such for the Legions of Light Foundation (Executive Director/1998-Present). He has since published various books/articles on topics ranging from science to health/nutrition. Benson has been featured/interviewed by publications such as “Original Thought Magazine” and “The Chronicle Telegram.”

Photo Credits

  • home sweet home image by David Dorner from Fotolia.com