Wisconsin Awarded $23 Million To Combat Homelessness

Federal Grants Aim To Continue Reducing Chronic Homelessness
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The federal government is putting $23 million toward Wisconsin's efforts to end homelessness.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Continuum of Care grants to 99 agencies and initiatives working to reduce homelessness in the state.

Federal figures show a decline in homelessness since 2010, when the Obama administration announced a multi-agency effort against homelessness.

Joe Volk, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, said Wisconsin and the nation have fewer chronically homeless people.

But he said the state needs a better strategy to help a large number of young children and families without permanent housing. Volk said the increasing amount of minors throughout the state "whose parents haven’t been able to afford or find, for whatever reason, a place to live" is a real concern.

Nearly half of Wisconsin's federal grant money will fund projects in Milwaukee County, which set a goal last year of ending chronic homelessness in the area by 2018.

Volk said it's not clear yet whether the incoming Trump administration will continue the approach.

"With this award from the federal government, for the next 12 months there will be dollars coming to Wisconsin to combat homelessness," Volk said. "After that, I think all bets may well be off. One doesn't really know what the new administration is going to do in this area."

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