The Sites of Damascus Way Reentry Center


Since 1975, Damascus Way Reentry Center has served as a reentry program and ministry for men exiting the correctional system and in recovery from substances. Initially based out of a former site in Golden Valley, Damascus Way has since expanded across the state of Minnesota. In addition to a newly constructed and completed building in Golden Valley, Damascus Way also houses men in Shakopee and Rochester.

The Value of Reentry Housing:

There are a number of common themes that characterize an individual’s history here at Damascus Way. The lived reality of our men is that they come from broken or damaged family systems and relationships. Oftentimes they have significant substance use issues that require support, education, and encouragement. Many carry trauma dating back to childhood. Studies have shown that there is an association with those who have experienced adverse childhood experiences, substance use disorder (SUD) and those who go on to commit high level violent crimes. A high proportion of our residents are victims of generational incarceration and substance use, meaning many have had parents who have been incarcerated or SUD. This in turn has led to cycles of substance use and diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health issues. Some men face significant barriers to employment as a result of a deficiency in social skills or access to technological knowledge. Finally, we know that the universality of sin accentuates the brokenness brought out by adverse environmental factors and heightening the reckless nature of an individual’s actions.

Maslow’s hierarchy of basic human needs indicates that housing and shelter (i.e. safety), is an essential prerequisite for human prosperity, wholeness and health which in turn allows for successful and ongoing self-actualization and transformation. It is our conviction that stable housing during an individual’s reentry process is a catalyst for further movement away from recidivistic tendencies. This is the beauty and necessity of our housing sites and the services attached.

Below we have information regarding each of our primary locations.

Golden Valley Site

Damascus Way established a new 30-bed facility in Golden Valley in January 2021. The residence houses persons who are seeking to recover from substance use disorder (SUD), maintain mental wellness, and reintegrate into society. Men from Work Release, Intensive Supervised Release, MSOP (the Minnesota Sex Offender Program), and the community are housed in our Golden Valley location. Additionally, we continue to have the ability to accept self-referrals from those who are experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or a substance use disorder. In order to help people achieve effective long-term employment and housing, our program provides peer recovery support.

Residents receive meals and food services at Golden Valley. Through our programming and community reintegration ties, our peer recovery specialists and reentry coordinators work to forge relationships with our men that are both positive and transformative. These initiatives are concentrated on enduring connections with employment, housing options, and community connections. This includes local churches, recovery ministries, recovery centers, and other non-profits that may support men in recovery and reentry in a variety of ways. Our services also include volunteer donations, mentorship opportunities, and other services like transportation help.

Rochester Site

Our main Rochester facility, which can house up to 25 men, first opened its doors in 2006. The Rochester location accommodates residents who are pursuing recovery, mental stability, and re-entering society from the correctional system. Many of these individuals are on work release, supervised release, or are former participants in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP). Additionally, there are rooms available for those in the larger community who are coping with homelessness, mental illness, and substance use disorders. The duration of the visit can often range from a few weeks to two months to a year. Although there are many variables, the length of stay frequently depends on the degree of recovery, level of independence, and community integration.

During the reintegration process, the men engage closely with reentry coordinators and peer recovery specialists who offer responsibility and guidance. Damascus Way provides food supplies to the Rochester campus while the residents are responsible for preparing their own meals in the spacious kitchens that are offered. The men can choose to engage in weekly bible studies and recovery support groups held on-site, as well as a monthly men’s brunch that is alternately hosted by three nearby churches. Staff and residents can also benefit from one another’s mutual enlightenment during the monthly house meetings.

Rochester Apartments

The Rochester apartments are designed to function as a shared community space within the organization. In some cases, Damascus Way may become an indefinite home for those with have barriers to long-term housing in the community at large. Our peer recovery specialist provide support with day to day activities at home and in the community. Volunteers help with bible studies and recovery support groups, where they can become mentors or contribute to meals for monthly house meetings. Our apartments are designed to foster greater independence and healthy community connections for those in recovery and reentry.

Shakopee House

Scott County requested a partnership with Damascus Way in November of 2021 in order to provide transitional housing in Shakopee to address issues of homelessness, substance use, and recidivism among individuals leaving prison. Men from Scott County Community Corrections who require secure reentry housing, help with SUD recovery, aid with employment, and long-term housing are served in a spacious home setting. These elements, in addition to the helpful mentorship and peer rehabilitation programs offered by staff, are crucial in preventing crippling cycles of recidivism.

At the Shakopee House, Damascus Way offers some food assistance, however, the residents are responsible for preparing and cooking their own meals. Recovery courses have been made available, allowing weekly meetings to be attended virtually and in-person. Additionally, the dynamics of a home environment promote stability, camaraderie, and a sense of deep community.

Along with our peer recovery specialists, the Shakopee House encourages volunteers who want to offer guidance, assistance with meals, and additional transportation support for residents.

Prior Lake House

Like our Shakopee residence, Scott County provided the Prior Lake home to Damascus Way in order to assist with Scott County’s homeless population, many of whom are returning from incarceration. In partnership with Scott County, Damascus Way has developed a strategic plan to ensure that appropriate housing is available to meet the needs of residents so that homelessness is brief, rare and non-reoccurring. Housing stability is essential for individuals pathways to success that lead away from risk factors and drivers of criminal behavior. People need a roof over their head and an authentic place to call home, which helps manage efforts to change, transform, find employment, address mental health and/or break cycles of substance misuse.

The Prior Lake residence had been vacant for a number of years and was in great need of repair. Through the vision and hard work of Scott County, Hosanna Church in Shakopee and their Heart & Heartland ministries, the FISH Partner Network, Damascus Way team members and many volunteers – the house was completely remodeled and the yard landscaped.

Opened in May of 2023, our first Prior Lake residents stated that they felt very grateful to be afforded the opportunity to work on their goals in such a caring and beautiful environment.

Damascus Way is excited to see how the Prior Lake House serves the community and individuals during its first year!

Contact Us!

Give Us A Call

  • Rochester 507.292.1700
  • Golden Valley 763.545.6558
  • Scott County 763.299.0808