homelessness

Milwaukee VA Medical Center / Flickr

This month, Milwaukee County received a $2.4 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to help end chronic homelessness. The money will be doled out over the next three years and is intended to benefit the county’s Housing First Initiative, which was launched last summer. The initiative focuses on "chronically homeless" people, defined as someone who has been homeless for at least a year, or has had four episodes of homelessness in the last three years. They also have some kind of disability, which makes it more difficult to access services.  

maroke, fotolia

During every school year in Milwaukee, thousands of students are identified as homeless. In MPS, the number has been hovering at just under 4,000.

 The district tracks-down as many of the students as it can, to get services to them – such as transportation and food, hoping they attend school. As we reported Monday, a big push to connect with them is underway now, at the end of summer break.

Rachel Morello

The first day of school is just around the corner, and for Milwaukee students who are homeless, that can mean a return of some stability after the summer break.

Staff is hard at work this week identifying the kids who don’t have an address, and making sure they have transportation, meals and school supplies -- all things the district can help with, and that will hopefully keep them in school.

For Cathy Klein, "back-to-school" preparations are all about her “list.”

Ann-Elise Henzl Reporter Milwaukee Public Radio

A "media blitz" is underway in San Francisco this week. Dozens of news outlets are reporting on the city’s ongoing struggle with homelessness. Their goal is to encourage people to come up with solutions. No such action is planned in Milwaukee; however, one advocate for the homeless says an effort here could publicize the need for housing and funding.

Marti Mikkelson

Milwaukee residents will begin to see signs around town discouraging them from giving money to panhandlers.  City leaders rolled out the program on Wednesday, called Keep the Change. It’s designed to channel money toward organizations that can help address the underlying problems.

Marti Mikkelson

Dozens of homeless people in Milwaukee flocked to Marquette University on Thursday. The campus hosted a fair for people needing basic services - from haircuts to vision screenings.

Demetrius Harper hasn’t had a place to call home in four years. The 45-year-old admits his homelessness has been the result of poor choices.

“Bad decision here, bad decision there, I decided to live with a lot of people and not saving any money. It’s hard to save money when you have a lot of habits, alcohol and drug, smoking, everything pretty much,” Harper says.

For five years, two filmmakers followed several homeless men in Milwaukee - capturing the men's challenges, from mental illness to substance abuse, as well as their rare moments of triumph.

"The guys we talked to were the ones that would openly say 'I'm not proud of how I'm living, I'm not proud, you don't want to live like this, no one should have to live like this,'" director Faith Kohler says. "But they were the ones who felt that is was important to give their community a voice."

Kesha Parker / Flickr

Earlier this summer, Milwaukee launched a new effort called Housing First to address the problem of chronic homelessness in the city. At last count, an estimated 200 people in Milwaukee went without housing for a full year, or were homeless multiple times over three years. 

Michelle Maternowski

Starting Wednesday, Milwaukee will begin a new strategy to end chronic homelessness. The program is called Housing First. 

It simply offers chronically homeless people a place to live. The federal government defines them as individuals who’ve gone without housing for a year straight, or multiple times over three years. Milwaukee has counted about 200 such people.

The city and county will work to move people into permanent housing first, and then help them begin to confront the root causes of why they were chronically homeless.

Bob Bach

Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo calls his second homeless awareness event a success and promises a return next year.

Supervisor "Samples" Homelessness

Oct 30, 2013

Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo spent Tuesday night on a bench at Dineen Park  to call attention to homelessness in Milwaukee.

Adam Morris, Milwaukee Magazine

If you have spent any time at the municipal complex in Wauwatosa, you’ve probably noticed a car that looks the slightest bit out of place in the parking lot. 

Marti Mikkelson

Homeless people were invited Thursday to Marquette University. The campus hosted a fair for people needing basic services.

Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Madison Congressman Mark Pocan want language protecting LGBT runaway and homeless youth  added to a bill up for reauthorization in Congress.

While it’s often an invisible population, homeless advocates believe that on any given day, there are as many as 1,500 men, women and children looking for a place to sleep in Milwaukee.

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