We live in a compassionate, caring community. It’s core to our quality of life and helps make our neighborhoods the very best they can be. Homelessness is a real challenge facing too many families not only here, but in growing communities across the country. What makes us unique is the way we are coming together to make a real difference for our neighbors.

With a site now secured, we are working diligently with the City, United Way, Catholic Charities and others to develop a new Day Resource Center to help individuals who fall on hard times get back on their feet and find employment. This new one-stop- shop is slated to open next summer. In addition to connecting those who are homeless with the vast array of services our community offers, it’s important we continually focus on what can be done to prevent homelessness.

Too often families working hard to support their loved ones come upon a significant expense making it hard to pay rent. That’s why I created the “Eviction Prevention Program” through Dane County Joining Forces for Families – to stabilize living situations for families with children. We are on track to help 200 families and 400 kids this year. Given demand, I am doubling the dollars for this effort to $100,000.

Working with the Salvation Army, the County is providing nearly $1 million for emergency shelter and to support a new expanded “Rapid Re-Housing” initiative to secure permanent housing for dozens of individuals. Once housing is found, “Rapid-Re- Housing,” empowers homeless individuals with the training and skills to stay in those residences.

That’s why I’m putting more county dollars into case managers for the coming year, people who can work directly with those with housing challenges to get them into and keep them in affordable housing. Together, we are making a real difference.

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