A federal halfway house is a housing facility for people released from prison. Recently released inmates are conditionally free and are subject to the rules and regulations of the halfway house. Life in a federal halfway house is viewed as the last key to freedom. In order to be fully free, ex-prisoners must strictly follow the policies of the federal halfway house. Residents are provided with rehabilitation and treatment programs to help them re-enter society. Establishing a federal halfway house does not require special certification or a degree.

Step 1.

Find a location in which you wish to operate a halfway house. Decide if you want lease or own a building for your facility. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that ideal halfway houses should be near public transportation, community high schools or colleges and health care facilities.

Step 2.

Decide if you want your facility to be licensed or not. Consider obtaining other permits, zoning variances and inspections. Keep in mind that if you choose to establish a halfway house without a permit, license, or other certifications, you must operate under specific parameters to avoid being shut down by the local government. It is best to contact your local zoning department or licensing agency to obtain a list of requirements.

Step 3.

Assess the needs of your facility. Set rules and regulations, like the population limit of residents and staff. You must also consider safety and funding restrictions. Determine the required equipment and supplies for operation.

Step 4.

Acquire funding for the halfway house by seeking financial assistance from the federal government. Since a federal halfway house is non-profit, the federal government can provide loans and grants. Also check with your local and state governments for funding. The local social services department can also provide you with more information for available programs in your area.

Step 5.

Assemble a group of experts and staff. You will also need a lawyer and a Realtor to help you with your plans. Ensure that you clearly provide the details about operating your facility.


Establish a good relationship with the community in which you plan to build the facility. Potential neighbors may oppose the idea of a facility with ex-convicts. Engage and solicit their support by explaining how the halfway house can also benefit their community.