The last week of September saw the first prisoner-built home arrive at Muscatine County.
Homes for Iowa is a program in which Iowa State Penitentiary prisoners in Newton learn to build homes and then ship them to low-income communities across the state. This program trains prisoners in construction skills and prepares them to apprentice once they are released. Charla Schafer (Executive Director of Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine) says that the program is a win-win. "The recidivism rates for prisoners who learn home construction are 30% lower than other trade training." It also provides affordable housing options for the region. We have 1,100 people driving into our community to work, because there isn't enough housing.
Schafer says that we are currently short one thousand units of affordable housing.
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Beam is a UK-based social enterprise was launched in November 2017 and has so far helped more than 400 people achieve their potential with crowdfunding of more than $2 million.