Assemblymember Hunter Tours Freedom Commons

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) toured Freedom Commons, a new supportive housing unit in Syracuse, on Friday, Aug. 23. She previously helped secure funding for the facility, which aims to help formerly incarcerated individuals reenter society by offering affordable housing options.

“After serving their debt to society, many formerly incarcerated New Yorkers want to start a new chapter of their lives, but too often they face obstacles that prevent them from moving forward,” Hunter said. “Far too many struggle to find a place to live, making it nearly impossible for them to get a job and lead a stable life. By providing these individuals with a safe place to call home, Freedom Commons helps strengthen our Syracuse communities by giving more of our neighbors a fair shot at rebuilding their lives.”

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, formerly incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to be homeless. This often causes them to get trapped in the “revolving door,” as being homeless makes it more likely that they’ll be arrested and incarcerated again.[1]

To combat this devastating cycle, Freedom Commons provides apartments for people with criminal records as well as access to a range of services to help them get back on their feet and learn new skills.[2] The facility is located on 450 Burt St. in Syracuse and was established through a partnership between the Syracuse Housing Authority, the Center for Community Alternatives and The Fortune Society.

Hunter has been committed to making this housing unit a reality and secured a total of $250,000 in the last two state budgets for The Fortune Society to assist with this project and the various services they offer to incarcerated individuals and their families. New Yorkers who are willing to put in the work and make a positive change in their life deserve our full support, and this supportive housing unit will help ensure they get the chance to do so, Hunter noted.