The Diane Wade House is the first-of-its-kind transitional housing program for adult women involved in the criminal justice system in Multnomah County. The home, run by Bridges to Change, will provide gender-responsive, trauma-informed services that are also Afrocentric. This means that residents, who must be referred to the program, will have access to culturally specific mental health stabilization and support services.
The home is part of an overall Multnomah County strategy to reduce unnecessary incarceration and reduce the number of African Americans who are over-represented in the criminal justice system. It also provides an alternative for people with behavioral health issues who would benefit more from community-based services than from jail.
The home will serve 38 justice-involved women referred by the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice and Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services. Twenty-one of those beds are funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through the Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC). The SJC seeks to reduce over-reliance on jail across the country. Multnomah County has received a $2 million grant over two years to support efforts to reduce unnecessary incarceration without compromising public safety — focusing most on those struggling with mental health or addiction issues.