FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2019
CONTACT: Rep. Jim Steineke
Steineke, Assembly Show Support for Steps to End Homelessness
MADISON – Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) along with Assembly colleagues approved eight bills that will take steps to curb homelessness in Wisconsin on the Assembly floor this afternoon. The “A Hand for the Homeless” legislative package follow Rep. Steineke’s 2017 bill that created the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), which was hailed as a crucial tool in combatting homelessness by advocates and stakeholders.
“Having been involved in this issue for a few years now, it is incredibly gratifying to see the work we did back in 2017 continuing to make headway in ending homelessness today,” said Rep. Steineke. “Through interacting with individuals experiencing homelessness, social workers, shelters, and more, I’ve learned that every single community is touched by homelessness. With these bills, we’re continuing to do our due diligence in making sure every person in Wisconsin has a place to call home.”
The “A Hand for the Homeless” package directly mirrors the ICH’s A Hand for the Homeless: Foundations for Success statewide action plan recommendations, including new programming and $3.75 million in new spending – a number that more than doubles the state’s current commitment. The package is designed to attack homelessness from every angle, providing resources to prevent someone from becoming homeless to helping a chronically homeless individual find long-term stability.
Rep. Steineke’s bill, Assembly Bill 119, invests an additional $500,000 annually to the State Shelter Subsidy Grant program, the first major increase the program has seen since its creation in 1994. The legislation also adds performance metrics, aimed at incentivizing shelters to responsibly transition individuals into permanent housing.
“I am so proud to have worked with my Assembly Republican colleagues on this package that responsibly directs funds towards programs that we know make a difference in combatting homelessness,” continued Rep. Steineke. “Passing these reforms today are another example of our commitment to improving the lives of those affected by homelessness, and helping them gain independence. I look forward to seeing these bills make real changes throughout every community in our state.”
The funding for the “A Hand for the Homeless” package was approved by the Joint Committee on Finance in the state’s budget. All eight bills passed out of the Assembly with bipartisan support, and now head to the state Senate for their consideration.