FAQs

All About CrossWalk

Q: What is CrossWalk Center?
A: CrossWalk Center is the centralized, safe re-entry hub for Houston’s returning citizens and their families, located at 2103 North Main Street, just north of the Burnett Street Transit Center.

Q: What does CrossWalk Center do?
A: We welcome and serve returning citizens and their families in a safe hub, offering social services and faith-based ministry, giving them hope and a future.

Q: Does CrossWalk Center house returning citizens?
A: No. CrossWalk Center does not house returning citizens. We address housing needs through our Partners that provide accommodation services.

Q: What makes the CrossWalk Center re-entry journey unique?
A: CrossWalk Center re-entry journey is unique because it mobilizes a wide variety of Partner ministries and services, in collaboration, to serve returning citizens beginning inside the prison and jail walls, continuing on through Release Day, and continuing on with a minimum of three years of aftercare and follow up.

Q: How does CrossWalk Center re-entry begin?
A: CrossWalk Center re-entry starts with an offender who is willing and chooses to develop a relationship with a CrossWalk Center Life Coach, Partner Mentor or Volunteer while still inside.

Q: How does CrossWalk Center re-entry work?
A: CrossWalk Center’s re-entry premise is based on establishing a relationship inside that will journey through aftercare on the outside. We believe that life’s journey is meant to be experienced with other human beings and in community.

Q: How does CrossWalk Center address the barriers to a successful re-entry?
A: CrossWalk Center Partner Mentors and CWC Life Coaches, and Advocates first and foremost get to know the individual well, working closely with them in order to help the returning citizen select the best community and church to come home to. For the CrossWalk Center re-entry model to succeed in an individual’s life, the step to connect to the community and a church family is essential.

Secondly, before the offender walks through the prison gates for the last time, the CrossWalk Center team with our Partner services and ministries collaborates to implement the re-entry case plan developed with each individual while still inside. The re-entry plan may include but is not limited to, the following practical needs: Identification, Clothing and Food, Transportation, Housing, Health/Medicine, Job Skills Training or Formal Education, Job Readiness, Employment Assistance, Parole Stipulations and Requirements, Counseling and Therapy.

Q: How is CrossWalk Center funded?
A: CrossWalk Center re-entry services and ministry are provided to clients FREE of charge. Financial support of the CrossWalk Center, a 501c3 non-profit, is funded 100% by charitable donations and grants.

Q: What is the cost to operate CrossWalk Center?
A: The annual investment for the CrossWalk Center’s First Year Pilot to begin operating September 2016 is: $550,000.

Q: What is proposed and projected in CrossWalk Center’s first three years?
A: Based on CrossWalk Center’s proposed and projected first three years:

  1. CrossWalk Center’s goal is to serve up to 1,000 individuals in Year One.
  2. In year two, that number would increase to 1,750
  3. In year three, the number would increase to 2,500 individuals served annually.
    >> A total of 5,250 individuals over the first three years.

Q: What are the potential savings for taxpayers?
A: For every 100 returning citizens who do not recidivate, Texas taxpayers would realize a prison cost savings of approximately: $1.85 Million Annually

Q: How do I, or my organization, institution or church get involved? How may we begin the process of collaboration?
A: AREAS OF COALESCING AND COLLABORATION

  • Intercessory Prayer Team Members
  • Congregational or Community Group Volunteer Teams
  • Ministry Partners
  • Social Service Partners
  • CrossWalk Center Mentors certified by Texas Department of
  • Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
  • CrossWalk Center Life Coaches for Re-entry Journey
  • CrossWalk Facility Volunteers
  • Professional or Operations Project Volunteers
  • City, County, State and National Government Support
  • Board of Directors
  • Advisory Board
  • Donors

For more information about the CrossWalk Center initiative, and to discover ways in which we may begin to collaborate to change the face and future of reentry in Houston, please contact us.

FAQs for Returning Citizens

Q: What must a returning citizen do to re-enter through CrossWalk Center?
A: During CrossWalk Center’s Pilot Year, September 1, 2016-August 31, 2017, a returning citizen must be recommended by the Unit Chaplain and/or a Mentor, and have participated in a Chaplaincy approved Christ-centered, faith-based program or service while inside prison.

Q: Are there requirements unique to CrossWalk Center to be considered?
A: Yes. The individual must willingly choose, on their own, to have or to be assigned an inside Christ-centered, faith-based Mentor that may or may not transition with the individual upon re-entry, AND be willing to have a CrossWalk Center Life Coach on the outside for one up to three years depending on progress.

Q:  Are there criteria which would not allow an inmate to participate?
A: CrossWalk Center is not equipped to receive sex offenders.

Q:  Will you welcome male and female inmates?
A: Yes. We receive both men and women.

Q:  How many individuals will CrossWalk Center welcome during the Pilot Year September 1, 2016- August 31, 2017?
A: It is the goal and intent of CrossWalk Center to welcome 1,000 individuals and their families.

The long-term goal of CrossWalk Center is to serve all willing Harris County returning citizens upon re-entry, day one, no matter their race, gender or religion.

Q:  How does CrossWalk Center re-entry work?
A:  The individual will complete and submit CrossWalk Center’s Re-entry Questionnaire once they have a release date. The Questionnaire information is then used by staff and volunteers at CrossWalk Center to begin working with our Partners in advance of release to find resources and solutions to re-entry barriers, so that the individual has a ‘softer re-entry’ and may be successful.

Q:  What about the family?
A: The CrossWalk Center Re-entry Questionnaire  takes into account the needs of the family.

If family members outside the walls are willing and want to prepare for a healthy reunification, CrossWalk Center staff and volunteers will work with our Partners to assist the family in this process and journey.

Q:  What is the cost of re-entry through CrossWalk Center
A: CrossWalk Center re-entry services and ministries are provided FREE.

Q:  What may an individual expect to get out of their participation in the CrossWalk Center re-entry process?
A: An individual should firstly expect to get as much out of their CrossWalk Center re-entry process, as they are willing to put in. That being said, through CrossWalk Center, one may expect the support team of staff, mentors, volunteers are working diligently on the re-entry plan goals and objectives, and are also praying for the individual before their release. Upon release, and purposefully connecting with community and church, one should expect that, this second-chance will be life-changing and that re-entry is successful and sustainable.

Day One in the Life of Re-Entry

Day One Infographic

Q:  How will a released citizen arrive at the CrossWalk Center?
A: From the release unit, an individual may arrive via a private vehicle with family, friends or Mentor. They may also arrive via Greyhound bus at the central bus terminal where they may then be picked up by CrossWalk Center staff/volunteers.

Q:  What happens immediately upon arrival to the CrossWalk Center?
A: Our staff and volunteers, mentors, navigators, and pastors will warmly welcome the ex-offenders, as well as any family and friends that know of their return. This is a very special moment to connect and reunite, and we allow ample time for all individuals to do so.

Q:  After the CrossWalk Center Welcome and Family and Friends Reunification, what happens next?
A: We gather for a presentation, testimonies and orientation, at which time a meal will also be offered and served.

Q:  What is the process to begin to actually access services and ministries, once a returning citizen is at CrossWalk Center?
A: At the end of orientation, the individual will be introduced to a staff or volunteer Life Coach, if they have not met. That Life Coach will review and confirm the re-entry needs of the individual and provide steps and a process to access those services and ministries through our Partners, going forward from day one.

Q:  What if the returning citizen needs transportation to a residence or shelter that day and/or Parole the next?
A: Transportation is one of the services that the CrossWalk Team will have available to the individual based on the specific circumstances. We will ensure that the individual can get to where they need to be, in a safe environment upon leaving CrossWalk Center on day one, eliminating one of their barries to re-entry.

Q:  What about an initial set of clothes?
A: Through The Walk-In Closet at CrossWalk Center we make available new or nearly new clothing and simple hygiene kits for the individual on day one. If we do not have proper attire on site, we will connect the returning citizen to Partners who are an additional source for clothing.

Aftercare Through CrossWalk Center

Q:  How long may an individual and the family access CrossWalk Center services?
A: As long as there is a need to find Partners with solutions to remove barriers to a permanent and successful re-entry, CrossWalk Center will be available. We do not want anyone to recidivate – return to prison.

Q:  How long is an individual followed by CrossWalk Center during the re-entry journey?
A: Optimally a minimum of one (1) year while still inside the prison. From the first day of re-entry, one (1) year with the re-entry coach and/or mentor, and in the second and third years following re-entry, you may choose not to walk with the re-entry coach and/or mentor, but a CrossWalk Center staff or volunteer will follow-up from time-to-time to ensure you are still on the path to sustainable re-entry.

Q:  What if an individual would like to continue with the mentor and/or navigator past the two years outside?
A: The individual and the mentor/life coach may mutually choose to continue to journey life and discipleship together well past CrossWalk Center’s three years on the outside.

Q:  What about the spouse, significant other, children, basically the primary family unit? What about them?
A: The same aftercare assistance continues to be made available for the family, just like the individual.

Services & Ministries

Q: What specific services and ministry does CrossWalk Center offer?
A: Through our network of regional Partnerships, CrossWalk Center offers a ‘soft re-entry’ to the following service barriers: Housing, Transportation, Identification, Job Readiness/Employment and Education, AND the following Christ-centered, faith-based ministries: Mentorship/Discipleship, Family Reunification, Community and Church Integration, Counseling and Rehabilitation

Q: How does CrossWalk Center work?
A: While still incarcerated an individual may willingly choose to be assigned a CrossWalk Center Re-entry Coach. Through this relationship the CWC Re-entry Coach will begin to know the individual and the Re-entry process begins. CrossWalk Center Re-entry Coaches, Staff and Volunteers engage an array of Regional Resources and Partnerships on the outside to begin minimizing or eliminating the barriers to successful re-entry for the individual.

Q: What makes CrossWalk Center different than any other place an individual may go to for reentry help?
A: CrossWalk Center serves as the centralized hub for regional re-entry social services, ministries and churches.

CrossWalk Center’s approach is to provide a holistic and ‘wrap-around’ re-entry plan that addresses physical, economic, social and spiritual needs. An individual need only begin with a CrossWalk Center Re-entry Coach while still on the inside.

Q: What professional services does CrossWalk Center offer?
A: Through CrossWalk Center’s extensive Partner and Ministry agreements, we are able offer and connect individuals to the following: Chemical Dependency Treatment, Substance Abuse Treatment, Anger Management and Licensed Individual and Family Therapy Counseling.

Q: What services are available through CrossWalk Center for families of incarcerated individuals?
A: Once the individual has a CWC Re-entry Coach and is part of the CrossWalk Center Re-entry process, services are available through CrossWalk Center Partners to the spouse, children and parents also.

Q: Is CrossWalk Center an emergency shelter, half-way house, three quarter home, or transitional living center?
A: No. No one stays the night, lives or resides at CrossWalk Center.

Q: Does CrossWalk Center partner with other agencies?
A: Partnerships with social service agencies, ministries and churches are at the core of CrossWalk Center. It is through these relationships that CrossWalk Center is able to source and connect re-entering citizens with the immediate and long-term support that is needed for a successful and sustainable re-entry.

Q: Does CrossWalk Center guarantee availability and/or placement with any or all services?
A: No. CrossWalk Center cannot guarantee or promise services, BUT it is our intent to make every effort and seek every option possible, to the extent our Partners have openings and availability to provide services.

Q: Are services only available to those returning from state prison or state jail?
A: Yes. CrossWalk Center services and ministries are primarily for the ex-offender and their families. BUT, through our Partnerships, individuals and families that do not meet CWC criteria will be referred and connected to other more suitable services and ministries.

Q: What if the individual has been on the streets for a while… do they still qualify for services?
A: If permanently or chronically homeless, CWC will refer and connect the individual to one or several of our Partners whose service and/or ministry better fits the need.

Q: Is medication available through CrossWalk Center?
A: CrossWalk Center does not prescribe, distribute or administer medication, BUT, we have Partners that do.