Locations

The Sites of Damascus Way Reentry Center

History:

Since 1974, Damascus Way Reentry Center has served as a reentry program and ministry for men exiting the correctional system. 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. Many carry trauma dating back to childhood. Studies have shown that there is an association with those who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and those who go on to commit high level violent crimes. A high proportion of our residents are victims of generational incarceration, meaning many have had parents who have been incarcerated. This in turn has led to cycles of addiction 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

In January of 2021, Damascus Way opened a new 30 bed capacity site in Golden Valley which houses residents who are working towards re-entering society from the correctional system. Our Golden Valley campus houses men from Work Release, Intensive Supervised Release and MSOP (the Minnesota Sex Offender Program). In addition to this, we also maintain the capacity to take in self-referral for men struggling with homelessness and addiction. Our program allows for up to a year residency with potential extensions in order to best assist individuals in finding successful long-term employment and housing.

Golden Valley provides food services and meals for residents. Our Reentry Coordinators strive to develop positive and transformative relationships with our men through both our programming and community reintegration connections. These efforts are centered around longstanding relationships with employers, housing opportunities and community connections, such as local churches, recovery ministries and other non-profits which can equip men in various ways. Volunteer donations and other services like transportation assistance are incorporated into our services as well.

Rochester Site

Our primary Rochester campus opened in 2006 and currently houses up to 25 men. As with our Golden Valley campus, the Rochester site houses residents on Work Release, Supervised Release and individuals from the MSOP program  (Minnesota Sex Offender Program). Generally, length of stay can vary between anywhere from a few weeks to 2 months to a year. While there are a number of variabilities, the length of stay is often dependent upon how well an individual is working towards independent living.

Reentry Coordinators work closely with the men during the process of reentry and provide both accountability and mentorship. At the Rochester campus, Damascus Way contributes food supplies while the residents take on the responsibility to cook for themselves, utilizing the ample kitchen spaces that are available. There are on-site weekly bible studies that the men can voluntarily participate in, as well as a monthly men’s breakfast which is hosted on rotation by three local churches. Monthly residential house meetings also provide a space for mutual edification for staff and residents.

Rochester Apartments

Opened in 2017, the Rochester Apartments comprise the Phase II living space on our housing continuum. The apartments have the capacity for up to 24 men. These individuals typically come either directly from the correctional system, the community or the primary Rochester campus. 4 beds are designated specifically for housing support (formerly known as GRH).

The Rochester apartments are designed to function as shared community spaces within the facility. Generally, the length of a resident’s stay is dependent upon their situation and thus ranges from short term (1-3 months) to long term (12-18 months). In some cases, Damascus Way may become an indefinite home for those who have barriers to long-term housing in the community at large. Volunteers are able to join bible studies on Tuesday nights, where they can become mentors or provide meals for monthly house meetings. Volunteers also assist with a random assortment of projects and often join in assisting staff on work or cleaning days. Lastly, because the apartments are designed to encourage independence, the residents are expected to take responsibility for their own meals.

Shakopee House

In November of 2021, Scott County asked to partner with Damascus Way in order to open up transitional housing in Shakopee for the purpose of combatting homelessness and recidivism among men exiting prison. This spacious house serves men from Scott County Community Corrections who have a need for stable reentry housing and assistance with both employment and long-term housing. In addition to the valuable mentorship that staff provide, these factors play an essential role in negating debilitating cycles of recidivism. Success in these areas have manifested in the following ways: steady and prosperous job placements, the restoration of individual’s ability to obtain driver’s licenses again and effective case management.

At the Shakopee House, Damascus Way offers some food assistance while the residents are responsible for preparing and cooking their own meals. Onsite AA course have been made available, where weekly meetings can be virtually attended. Furthermore, the dynamics of a home setting allow for a great sense of comradery, stability and a sense of meaningful community for both the residents and the staff working at the House. Monthly community activities are also planned. Typical activities include; attending Timberwolves games, bowling and pizza nights. 

The Shakopee House welcomes volunteers who seek to provide mentorship, meal assistance and additional transportation support for residents to church, errands or employment.

Start Learning More About Us Today

Give us a call to schedule an appointment

  • Rochester 507.292.1700
  • Golden Valley 763.545.6558
  • Shakopee House 763.299.0808