Justice 4 Housing is a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice involved individuals impacted by domestic violence and incarceration. We operate from a people-led process to organize and advocate for housing rights, the abolishment of discriminatory federal, state, and local housing policies. We address the root cause of recidivism in correlation to homelessness, by delivering holistic and community-based solutions.
We envision a world beyond incarceration in which: communities of color are invested in, rather than surveilled and incarcerated; all people have access to stable, permanent housing from which to pursue their dreams; and an end to structural racism. We are building a robust movement to re-invest in our communities.
The Problem Existing Public Housing Authority policies and regulations unduly limit access to housing assistance among justice involved individuals and their families. These policies have a disparate impact on people of color who, despite making up only 17% of the percent of the state population, represent 50% of the incarcerated population. PHA policies restricting housing access to Justice Involved Individuals (JIIs) are harmful, discriminatory, and based on an antiquated view of the criminal justice system.
Denying access to subsidized housing makes it more likely that these families will experience homelessness, unemployment, and ultimately criminal justice involvement, perpetuating a grim cycle of poverty and recidivism. When JIIs can’t find stable housing, they have a much harder time finding and keeping jobs, maintaining their health, and pursuing educational opportunities – the very things that make recidivism less likely, communities safer, and families healthier.
“Justice 4 Housing’s Founder, and Executive Director. Leslie Credle is leading the crusade to dismantle antiquated and discriminatory housing policies that target justice-involved individuals that leads to homelessness, recidivism and the separation of families.
Leslie is the creator of the Hands-On-Defense model, which mobilizes communities to fight housing injustices. Committed to mentoring and movement building, she created a network of directly affected Peer-Leaders who educate communities about the collateral consequences of incarceration and housing insecurity.
The recipient of the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition’s 2021 Peg Erlanger Leadership Award, presented by Congresswoman Ayanna Presley, and Boston Women’s Foundation’s, Women of Color Leadership Circle’s, 2021 Fellow, she became a fierce leader in the movement to end incarceration of women and girls. Leslie is passionate about creating homeownership opportunities and building generational assets and equity in minority communities.
Raised in Boston, her lived experience and the loss of her beloved daughter, Brianna became the inspiration for her systems-change work and social-justice advocacy. She has a Bachelors Degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University and is on the National Council For Incarcerated and Formerly Incarnated Women and Girls, #FreeHer Advisory Committee.”
I’m a client of Leslie Credle, in which she has helped me to apply and be granted the opportunity to have section 8. I applied in 2010 while I was incarcerated and in 2021 of June I was granted housing.
I was facing an interview with housing and due to my current position of being a formerly incarcerated woman I along with Ms. Credle and her incredible experience of utilizing her skills and knowledge, l was able to obtain a spot in housing, had it not been for her I truly believe I would have not attained housing and the result would of been homelessness.
I am greatly appreciative to her for helping me to the cause. We need more women like her.