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Glen Cove Halfway Houses Nearing Completion

Organizer is seeking donations to furnish the homes; expects to have them operational by the end of the year.

Lisa Cohn's work at Nassau County Correctional Facility is a constant reminder of the need for the kind of housing she is working to establish for women who get out of jail and don't want to return to bad situations.

"I have women all the time ask me, 'Please, can I come there?'" said Cohn, who sold the telecommunications company she owned with her husband last year to run her non-profit.

The inmates she volunteers with are mainly women whose criminal charges stem from substance abuse problems, and 90 percent of those have histories of being abused, she said.

The penal system's answer to their actions comes at a cost of $236.28 per inmate per day to taxpayers, according to Nassau County. When they get out, they often have nowhere to go but the same homes and neighborhoods that are teeming with the same influences which pulled them down in the first place.

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There are alternatives, but places like what Cohn is building are far outnumbered by the women who need them. Such facilities for men are more available on a scale of about 10 to one, Cohn said, as the difficulty of running a live-in program for females, with a particular capacity to have tension with each other, is well-known in the world of post-incarceration programs.

She hopes to have this one operating by the end of the year, and has gotten considerable help in getting this far. 

"The Youth Bureau kids were here over the summer mopping the walls, because you can't paint over the nicotine," said Cohn. Formerly the Sunset Rooms, the homes were boarding houses for people with substance abuse issues who Cohn said trashed the property.

Soft pastels now cover the freshly-painted walls, made possible by donations from Aboff Paints. School House Remodeling Co. of Glen Cove pitched in to redo the bathrooms, and a federal grant is paying for new windows and carpeting for the stairs since they contain lead paint, and many women will have children visiting.

Cohn said what she needs most at this point are beds - metal-framed, because wood provides a home for the bed bugs it took so long to rid the houses of. She is seeking donations to purchase $400 frames which can be stacked as bunkbeds to give women more space, although any donations of metal frames are welcome.

The program will house 10 to 12 women at a time between the two houses when they are completed.

To make a donation, call 516-759-0643 or email info@livingwaterforwomen.org.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted the annual inmate cost per year as $34,000. 

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Lisa Cohn October 16, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I want to make it clear that everyone living in the houses will be drug/alcohol tested and they will be clean if they want to stay there. We are trying to improve their lives and the safety of residents of Glen Cove where I live too.
Lisa Cohn October 16, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Thank you meat and all those who realize that these homes are much needed.
Michelle Magrino October 16, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I have to say, as a Glen Cove resident I am insulted at the comment of Glen Cove being a Slum .. GC is a lovely diversed community and part of what makes us such a good comunity is how we as residents open our hearts and give assistance to those in need ... That means ALL of those in NEED cant just pick and chose who the right people are to help. Lisa is doing a wonderful thing here, these woman deserve a chance and this is there chance.
Dylan October 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM
why can't it go to your house?
Tired October 16, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Good for you Lisa, EVERYONE deserves a second chance.
Micah Danney (Editor) October 17, 2012 at 09:25 PM
According to the county, the figure is approximately $236.28 per day for each inmate, which makes it $86,242.20 for 365 days.
Charan Anand, D.C. October 17, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Great job lisa! keep on keeping on. The place looks amazing and it's great that's in a wonderful neighborhood like Glen Cove!
Data an October 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Thanks Lisa
Deborah October 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I am always amazed at the lack of grace we have to offer others. Thank you Lisa for the work you do, and for speaking redemption into the lives of these women.
angel October 19, 2012 at 07:43 PM
lisa c. you are an amazing women and god will continue to bless u in ur efforts to improve the lives of these women.I am a women in recovery from drugs alcohol n a life on the streets thanks to women such as urself my life is now amazing thank you to you n all the people who didnt judge and gave me a chance.Dont pay attention to the bone head comments of those negative people,they are the reason why this society has so many problems cause they dont reach out n help.they are just jealous much sucess n god bless.
Dataman30 October 19, 2012 at 11:13 PM
The notion that any rehab or "correction" is occurring in the government-run jails is absurd. We heard Newt talking about this during the debates. The more the private or faith-based sectors gets involved, the more the outcomes will improve and recitivism rates decline. It takes true compassion to even begin to catch the vision Lisa has embraced. If but one life is changed it will have been worth it. Rather than cultivating a Scrooge-like disdain...("are there no prisons?..are there no work-houses?") We should dare to love the unlovely...who knows it may return back to us someday.
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:28 PM
As a personal friend of Lisa's, I can personally attest to her character and integrity, that being of the highest calibre. I do not feel that negative commetns should be posted and I would like to remind everyone that Glen Cove DOES have its share of crime and its very own drug area---I would feel far better that these women have a safe place, where they can continue to recover and progress in life, vs. moving back to, "the Hill." And YES, Lisa DOES live nearby --The negative comments I've read here are shallow and obviously posted wihtout much thought given to what happens to people, if they move right back into the same situations they were in that led them down the wrong road in the first place. I back Lisa and Dan on this 100%...I would love to be a part of this.
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Here here, Sean!! :)
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Lisa, you are right--and I know your heart
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
:) to Michelle (This is Lisa V. (A friend of Lisa C's) not Lisa C)
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:37 PM
:) to Dataman30
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Wishing YOU much success, Angel!! You are an inspiration to many, I'm sure.
Lisa V. October 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
There is one more thing on my mind---Are you naysayers trying to say that people who have made mistakes, have had a bad break or two, maybe were abused and turned to drugs and alcohol (which is viewed as a crime and they are JAILED for it) should NEVER be forgiven?? If these peoplehave no where togo, can't get a job (b/c they have a "record") are kept out of every neighborhood, where would they go...right back to the life they need a break from and they will be the embodiment of the type of people you seem to hate, once again--- I just don't get it--Maybe GC will be a better place once you move out...see ya --- @ LisaC., please let me know if there is room for me in your Organization... (not "A room", lol- I would like to be a part of this)
John Doe October 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Sean, I know there is alot of criminals next door to me. My neighbors have been arrested in broad daylight with my kid watching. It's embarrassing to live in my area. Another thing Sean why would you want my address? Would yo break the law if you knew where I live? The reason is for the name John Doe is for backlash to my family. I'm not scared of anything. I'm not walking on he other side of the street either when I am over there. Micah, as for what you said, I believe in the 1st amendment.
Sean McCalmont October 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
No I would not break the law, that's a ridiculous statement. You said you wanted people to come by to witness this "behavior", in the ignorant post that was deleted due to cursing. I think you are exaggerating, to drive home your abusive comments.
John Doe October 24, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I don't care if you think I'm lying. Everything I posted is the truth. If you don't think anything like that happens here, you are delusional.
Micah Danney (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM
The 1st Amendment applies to government, not private publishers. Please watch the language.
Tess October 24, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Folks -- the only way people get better - is by them getting away from their environment that put them in the mess to begin with for a certain period of time till they get stronger on their own...............I know - I have had two problems in my life that I actually moved away from where I was living in order for me to regroup and stop my bad behaviors......... I never went back to the bad one, but I unfortunately have a weakness for food when I am stressed......... that's life - once in the while I induldge..... how can I say no to the best burgers around here ( Jeannie at Page One, makes the best around !)............ Getting back to my thoughts - We will need to give these people a chance ...and if it doesnt work, then we can have a case -- but right now..... give it a chance (besides, you don't think that there are others in our neighborhood that do drugs or steal? -- just recently one of the ladies (Ms. Bright )that used to work in Stop N Shop - got arrested for burglarizing homes in Sea Cliff and Glen Head).... surprise !!
Tess October 24, 2012 at 05:13 PM
By the way, the way I never went back to my bad habit was - by moving and when I came back to town, I stopped hanging out with people who were still doing that same habit..........this too is how I stopped smoking (the by way).
Micah Danney (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM
How can anyone say no to those burgers? :)
John Doe October 25, 2012 at 08:17 PM
It's funny how so many people are for this. I told my family and friends about the halfway house moving in and everybody told me it's time to move. I think some people on here are fake. All I want is my family and I to live in a safe neighborhood.
Lisa Cohn October 25, 2012 at 09:39 PM
This is to John Doe and any other naysayers out there- what you refuse to recognize is that these women are already living in our communities. If no one wants to help them change their lifestyles then they will continue committing the dame crimes and make our city more dangerous because every year their numbers grow ! At least I'm trying to improve our city and not give up on it .
Tess October 26, 2012 at 04:22 AM
I agree with Lisa and I agree with John Doe..........from these last statement...........but we have to understand its better for these people who already live in our town to get supervised help .......than to be wandering the streets still committing crimes.......right? Wouldnt that make our area/neighborhood safer in the long run?
Lisa V. October 26, 2012 at 05:57 AM
How much faker can one get than using, "John Doe?" I am real, I know Lisa C is real--everyone else sounds real, maybe with the exception of not using their real name(s)--what is it that you are so scared of, "John?" The Women (rather, the "element," they represent) who will be living in these houses already live in the community---but in these Homes, will be guided, counseled and monitored/supervised as well as made to adhere to certain standards/behaviors and will be tested--that is part of the cure, rather than part of the disease - you are looking at this completely backwards - they are also people who are actually seeking to better themselves and just need a fair shake--a real chance--now that they have paid their debt to society, so to speak. Their counterparts, the people who are incarcerated and about to be released, or the newly released, who are seeking to return to/engage in the same behaviors, are NOT seeking to enter into a supervised controlled setting--those people will not choose come to these Houses.
Mikhel April 10, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I am Lisa's daughter and if anyone has any bad or negative comments to say keep them to yourself! What she is doing is amazing. I only wish I had half the strength and courage she has to do something like this. These woman are going to be living on the streets when they come out of jail why not have a good safe environment for them to live in. An environment where they will be drug and alcohol tested weekly and have a curfew at nighttime. This is exactly what these woman need and everyone should be so greatful that my amazing mother is doing this!

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