MILWAUKEE -- Officials with United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County announced Monday, Oct. 7 they would be contributing $75,000 to assist in the transition of the homeless population living in "Tent City" underneath highway I-794 beneath the Marquette Interchange.
This, after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on Friday, Oct. 4 provided notice to those individuals that they must pack up and move by Oct. 31.
“While United Way has launched an initiative to end family homelessness by 2025, we could not ignore the people currently experiencing homelessness living outside in tents,” said Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County in a news release. “In partnership with Milwaukee County's Housing Division, we will support the dignified and temporary housing of up to 90 adults, all of whom will be offered voluntary case management and have an opportunity to be assessed for housing.”
“United Way continues to be a phenomenal partner in addressing homelessness in our community,” said James Mathy, housing administrator for the Milwaukee County Housing Division in the release. “Through our Housing First initiative, we will continue daily outreach to those at the encampment in an effort to quickly bring people indoors before the weather changes. The ultimate goal is always to find permanent housing for those that are outdoors. Housing ends homelessness.”
According to the news release, as of Monday, housing assessment centers were being established to allow individuals the dignity of being indoors while they are assessed for their needs -- with United Way assisting in the funding needed to adequately staff these locations.
Meanwhile, United Way officials said county officials had already provided one-on-one outreach assessments with the individuals living in "Tent City" to identify their specific housing and service needs -- with outreach workers being assigned to individuals in order to collaborate on moving logistics.
United Way officials set a goal of having everyone moved to temporary centers within the next three to four weeks.
“United Way’s investment would cover anticipated staffing costs for the centers and other expenses related to establishing a new home or apartment,” said Angresano.
American Red Cross officials also offered to assist in the relocation, much in the way they do in the case of natural disasters, the release said.