Reporting by Vera Rosenbeck, photo by Montana Leggett
“People are dying in the streets while this money is sitting here.”
That is representative Lisa Subeck’s reaction to State Republicans choosing not to release funding for homeless services.
7.5 million dollars over the next two years had been allocated through a bipartisan plan to help battle homelessness in Wisconsin through a program called A Hand and A Home.
The Republicans in State Senate and the Joint Finance Committee backed out of the plan in May, leaving 3.75 million unused this year. One of the people experiencing the lack of funding is Charles.
“I have been homeless off and on for the last 15 years probably. The shelters only give you two or three months, out of a whole year. Then you’re outside for a year.” he explains, while looking for a place to sleep for the night.
The plan included more housing, shelters and preventive measures. With the funding being stuck, it is difficult to help all of the 20.000 people experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin.
“We are not meeting the needs, we still have many people in our community experiencing homelessness, our housing priority lists have about 130 families and 500+ individuals, who need housing in our community. And that is just in Dane County,” says Torri Kopp Mueller, coordinator of the Homeless Services Consortium.
According to Representative Subeck there is only one way to address this:
“When we talk about addressing homelessness, it means substantial investment. And if you’re not willing to make that investment, you’re not willing to address the problem.”
For the Badger Report, I’m Vera Rosenbeck