House Life

After intake forms are filled in and rules are understood and signed by the new resident, a needs assessment is done. Individual needs (i.e. educational, skills and emotional needs) are determined and a path forward is plotted. As each woman is unique the path of one will not necessarily follow the path of another.

A normal day at the halfway house constitutes learning, group attendance, cleaning, cooking and other domestic operational tasks. House parents manage the daily task routine and every person’s schedule is taken into consideration.

Each woman has to attend the programmes run by BFA. Until such time as a woman attains employment, she will not be expected to pay rent and all her physical needs will be met.

BFA’s aim is personal empowerment. This is accomplished by building positive relationship and trust. BFA seeks to address educational gaps, issues of control through personal boundary setting and self-concept. Aspects of psychological trauma as reasons behind criminal behaviour are examined and personal counselling provided. Substance abuse and drug related crime are of high prevalence among ex offenders so BFA endeavours to address this problem seriously.

Other aspects of reintegration include the affects and effects of crime and the principles of ‘Restorative Justice’ which encourage the offender to look at how their crime has not only affected them but others. They are encouraged to seek reconciliation, restitution, and forgiveness. BFA is a Christian organisation that adheres to the belief that a person’s relationship with God is important. Most ex-offenders feel a deep need to find forgiveness for their wrongdoing and this is addressed in the spiritual atmosphere of bible teaching, church going and prayer. Forgiveness is addressed in two ways: forgiveness for their wrongdoing and forgiveness of those who have wronged them.

BFA seeks to address the challenge of HIV/Aids in South Africa today in order to help women to make healthier life choices. Parenting courses are offered, as many residents are mothers. Family reunion is a high priority and family of the resident are welcome to visit over a weekend. Children are able spend some weekends at the halfway facility with their mother.

Women who need legal aid are able to go to the legal clinic that operates once a week on the premises of the Jubilee Community Church.