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Saturday, May 25, 2024
The state's Interagency Council of Homelessness released a plan outlining their efforts to combat homelessness across Wisconsin.

The state's Interagency Council of Homelessness released a plan outlining their efforts to combat homelessness across Wisconsin.

State releases interagency plan to combat homelessness

One year after the establishment of the Interagency Council of Homelessness, the group has released a plan to coordinate and expand efforts to combat homelessness in Wisconsin.

Chaired by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, the council received bipartisan support to tackle the growing issue throughout the state.

“It focuses both agency leaders and line program managers on the core concern — homelessness — so we can better collaborate across our siloes to achieve meaningful outcomes in this important effort,” Kleefisch said.

The report calls for $3.75 million in new state funding, more than double current spending, to expand services to the homeless and affordable housing efforts.

It emphasizes a “housing first” approach, a widely-used model that provides permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals without barring help to those suffering from addiction or are convicted of a crime.

It also seeks to expand accessibility and effectiveness of case management, touting the benefits of face-to-face assistance for those in need.

“The Interagency Council on Homelessness’ new plan will be another important step in addressing homelessness throughout our state,” Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, a sponsor of the initial legislation to create the council, said.

According to the report, nearly half of all chronically homeless people who provided statistics to the state were served in Milwaukee or Dane Counties.

In 2016, just under 4,000 people experienced homelessness in Dane County, according to Continuum of Care Dane County, a federally funded homeless advocacy organization.

Madison’s city government has already seized on the housing initiative promoted by the state, devoting $20 million since 2014 to creating 1,000 units of affordable housing throughout the city.

“I look forward to continuing to advocate for this important cause and working alongside the Council as they continue to make strides toward ensuring everyone in Wisconsin has a place to call home,” Steineke said.

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