Our New Reentry House

We are excited to announce the successful completion of our capital campaign and purchase of our first Reentry House in Johnson County at 719 Page St. in Iowa City – with the plan to open the reentry house by late summer once minor remodeling is complete.

The sober, transitional residence will house six low-income men for up to two years after their return to the community following incarceration. Inside Out will provide on-site case management, mentors, and other supportive services for the residents, who will pay less than market value rent as they get established in the community.

“A big thank you goes out to the people of Johnson County for their outstanding support of our housing initiative and our capital campaign,” says Inside Out Executive Director Michelle Heinz. “We’re already getting inquiries from prison staff and people nearing their release date, so we know there’s a great need for this service.”

People returning from incarceration are nearly ten times more likely to face homelessness than the general public. High rents and high occupancy make finding affordable, decent housing particularly difficult in Johnson County. And even more difficult for returning citizens since it is legal to exclude people from housing based on past criminal convictions. Hopefully, the Page Street house will be the first of several Inside Out housing initiatives in the coming years.

Inside Out provides comprehensive support to returning citizens. In FY21, Inside Out served 168 returning citizens with 273 visits to our Resource Center and over 3,000 case management contacts. More than 86 people attended weekly support group meetings. Inside Out also had almost 2,000 contacts with 149 incarcerated individuals planning to return to our area. Our members come to us by word of mouth, in large part due to our non-judgmental approach, as well as through referrals from the Department of Corrections and family members.

The goal of the public phase of the Inside Out capital campaign was $50,000. Community members donated over $60,000, for a total of $293,000 raised for the reentry house purchase. “Donations came even more quickly and were often more substantial than we expected,” noted Dorothy Whiston, who chaired the capital campaign. “Local businesses, faith communities, and individuals were all incredibly generous in supporting this project, as they always have been to Inside Out.”

Major sponsors of the Reentry House include:



The Robert Allan Schafbuch Fund
Dorothy and John Whiston

Valerie Kemp
Dale and Diana Helling

Franklin Luckey and Mary Scamman (In memory of Don Ross)
Nancy Ross

Farnsworth Law

Jane Smiley

David and Jean Schropfer

Richard and Cathy Grugin

An anonymous donor

The house purchase was facilitated by realtor Clay Claussen and attorney Mel Shaw. A reception for major donors and neighbors of the reentry house will be held once the house is ready to open.

It is expected that the Page St. House will be the first of several reentry housing options sponsored by Inside Out in our area in the coming years. Housing insecurity is about ten times higher for returning citizens in their first two years back than the general public, so this will help our new neighbors achieve economic and personal stability. These successes in turn correlate with desisting from further criminal activity and enhanced community safety overall.

Watch the July 2022 Inside Out Housing Coalition video to present this initiative:

If you want to help support our new Reentry House, click on this donate button:

Inside Out is grateful for the on-going financial support we’ve received from many of you throughout the years!