News

 

No Safe Place - The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities, a report by the National Law Center on  Homelessness and Poverty

     go to: http://nlchp.org/documents/No_Safe_Place

 

Number of Homeless Children in Madison Schools continues Steep Climb

 Cap Times, October 28, 2013.

745. That's the number of students in the Madison Metropolitan School District identified as homeless seven weeks into the 2013-14 school year. The count is on a pace to continue record-setting numbers of homeless children over the past decade, say school officials. For the complete article, go to:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/writers/pat_schneider/number-of-homeless-children-in-madison-schools-continues-steep-climb/article_e194c476-3688-11e3-b0eb-0019bb2963f4.html

 

In the Spirit: Group Takes a chance on high-risk renters

Wisconsin State Journal, September 15, 2013

Jasmine Warren wept as she crossed the threshold of her new home.

The 26-year-old Madison woman had been homeless for most of the past two years, sometimes lseeping in her car with her 5-year-old daughter, Janiya. For the complete article, go to:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/lifestyles/faith-and-values/religion/in-the-spirit-group-takes-a-chance-on-high-risk/article_65a26eb9-8b87-58fd-8526-33db258ec688.html

 

Poverty Damages the Mind

Truthdig.com August 31, 2013

There is a strong connection between scarce resources and cognition: the more a person struggles financially, the less he or she can channel brain processes to completing other tasks. When you can't make ends meet, the weight of worry occupies a large portion of the mind.

To read more, go to:

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/

poverty_damages_the_mind_20130831/

 

 

 

The Road Home Dane County
Madison, WI
PH: (608) 294-7998
FX: (608) 294-8007

 

(continued from the home page)

They even gave me a baby shower at the first church we stayed at. They supplied us with cots to sleep on and a Pack and Play for my daughter. They fed us every morning and night and we were able to pack lunches. This was an extreme blessing for me because I did not have a dime to my name. We were able to bathe and wash our clothes at the day center too. They even supplied us with towels, soap and baby soap for my daughter!

            After a short stay at The Road Home’s shelter, we found out we were accepted into the Housing & Hope Program. I can’t put into words how excited I was and how relieved I felt to know I was really going to have a home! I actually broke down and cried the happiest tears of my life. I still remember signing the lease and getting those keys for the first time (just thinking about it makes me smile and brings a tear to my eye.) When I opened the door to my apartment the first time and walked in, it was so amazing! I had my own bathroom, a kitchen, I can finally cook again! My own bedroom! No more living out of bags. My daughter had her own room too and a living room! It was the biggest blessing ever!

            It was so touching. that they The Road Home did all the paperwork and getting the apartment ready for us to move in quickly, so we would all have our own place for Thanksgiving, our first holiday together as a family in our own home. Everyone at The Road Home is so amazing. They go out of their way to make you feel like you’re special and how you feel matters to them. You really feel like they’ve “got your back” and that you’re not going through this all alone

            Thanks to The Road Home’s Housing & Hope Program I’m able to be a stay-at-home mom with my daughter while I work on furthering my early childhood education. My husband Jeffery works at the Community Center right down the street, where daughter also attends. Before, my husband was unemployed and feeling depressed because he wasn’t doing his “fatherly” duty to provide for his family. Through his work at the Community Center he is confident in himself and his “fatherly duty.” Though we still have a low income we are paying our bills and have food on our table. It is an extremely beautiful feeling. Our life is so amazing now; I honestly can’t believe how far we’ve come.

            That young and shy 19-year old mama was in a place where she didn’t have any consistency, she didn’t have confidence in being a good mom, and she felt like everything was falling apart so fast she couldn’t even grab anything. I hadn’t had a “home” since I was 14-years old. Now I am 24 and I’m very confident in my mothering ability, my self esteem is through the roof, and I’m taking an at home course for early childhood education.  My daughter, Karma, is 4 ½ and she’s way past the normal 4-year old education. She’s extremely happy and helpful, she is polite, and she’s always willing to help out or share a smile.

            I want to thank The Road Home. We’ve been in stable housing for almost 5-years. We’ve come so far. I can’t put into words how grateful we are and how honored we are to give back. We owe our success, our happiness, and our life to all the workers, volunteers, and donors. If it wasn’t for all of you, we wouldn’t be here.

Karissa, Jeff and Karma

 

Around Town: 'Everything Perfect' for Family Overcoming Homelessness

August 24, 2014 Wisconsin State Journal

Rising out of homelessness has been such a relief for Darcia Bell that she lights up when she talks about the new receptionist job she’s held for five months, the apartment lease she renewed in January, and the car she just purchased. But a special kind of awe is reserved for her daughter’s achievements since the family moved to Madison from Chicago and into permanent housing five months later.“The change was unbelievable. She went up two or three grade levels in reading and math,” Bell, 32, said Sunday before she was recognized at an event to celebrate the success stories of the local homeless organization The Road Home Dane County.

Almost 250 people attended the “family reunion” at the Warner Park Community Center. Attendees included volunteers, donors, staff and about 70 families who have been helped.

For the full article, read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/around-town-everything-perfect-for-family-overcoming-homelessness/article_6cfc932d-dee8-5149-a02a-7ba9e9566bff.html#ixzz3BQKnwgG1

Homeless Students in Madison Metropolitan School District

The number of homeless students in the Madison Metropolitan School District reached 1,364 for the 2013-2014 school yearFor more information about the impact of homelessness on families with children, go to: American Almanac of Family Homelessness, 2013, produced by The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness.

 

Creating for Causes Art Fair

Creating for Causes is partnering with Middleton Outreach Ministry to do a food drive the same day as the Art Fair. The food drive will be at Copps Food Store in Middleton Hills. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/creatingforcauses.

 

The Road Home Celebrates 15th anniversary

by Madeline Anderson, NBC 15 News, Sunday, April 27, 2014

A local charity celebrated 15 years of helping the homeless in Madison this weekend. But the milestone is bittersweet.

On the one hand, The Road Home has transformed from an emergency shelter and hospitality program to a multi-faceted organization that also offers intensive case management and long-term housing solutions.

On the other hand, it still struggles to meet the growing need. Since 1999, the number of homeless students in the Madison school district has tripled. And last year, nearly 400 homeless families couldn't receive immediate help because of a lack of resources.

For the full article go to: http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/The-Road-Home-celebrates-15-years-of-helping-homeless-families-256916591.html

 

Volunteer Appreciation Week

April 6-13, 2014

In 2013, 1,864 volunteers provided over 18,600 hours of service. From congregations hosting families to individuals providing tutoring, mentoring, moving, transportation and other needed services our volunteers have helped families to access resources, and build skills and relationships that set the stage for long-term success.

Thank you for all that you do!

 

Study: Poverty Impacts Early Child Brain Development

 Dr. John H. Gilmore, co-author of the study stated, "We've known that poverty can have long lasting consequences for childhood development and learning, and this study provides concrete evidence that poverty can change how the brain itself grows." To read more, go to: http://www.afro.com/sections/news/health/story.htm?storyid=80983

 

Churches, Volunteers Shelter Homeless Families

by the Waunakee Tribune, January 24, 2014. For the full article, go to:

 http://www.hngnews.com/waunakee_tribune/news/local/article_511fc06e-82da-11e3-b5c2-001a4bcf6878.html

The Road Home Pooled Resources

The Road Home Pooled Resources
By Jonathan Gramling, Capital City Hues
While the homeless are often viewed as single adults with most having mental health or substance abuse issues, increasingly the face of homelessness is the face of families. Due to life circumstances, perhaps the loss of a job or a health crisis, the bread winner — and their dependents — can no longer afford the rent and are forced to live with relatives, friends or even complete strangers while they try to catch up. Some even end up living in cars or on the streets with their children. For the full article, go to:

http://capitalcityhues.com/121213TheRoadHome.html

 

12 Days of Caring

Listen to Fish's interview on December 17, 2013 with The Road Home's Executive Director and learn about The Road Home and how you can help homeless families with children. http://www.madtownjamz.com/pages/12930474.php?pid=372633

 

Buy a Sweatshirt Give A Sweatshirt

In December, Madison Top will donate 1 Mad City crew neck sweatshirt for every hooded sweatshirt you order, to local homeless shelters. Please call 608-277-9111 for more information or visit www.madisontop.com. 

On Monday, January 6, 2014, Channel 27 featured a story on Madison Top's sweatshirt donation to The Road Home and St. Vincent de Paul. To see the story, go to http://www.wkow.com/story/24378625/2014/01/06/local-company-donates-hundreds-of-sweatshirts-to-homeless

 

National Giving Day - December 3, 2013

A gift of $25, $50 $100 or whatever level you can give will provide shelter, social services, training, rental assistance and transportation necessary for families to move into stable housing and employment, and succeed in school. Thank you!

 

Home for the Holidays

In every community, there are families in need of a little extra help during the holidays. From the low-income families who can't afford gifts for their children, to our homeless families living in our shelter, there are many opportunities to give to others during this time. Please consider sponsoring a family.

 

“Horror In The Dark At Olin Park”

Run by the Madison Metro Jaycees, the haunted house raises money for local charities. Again for 2013, the Jaycees have designated The Road Home, as the agency benefiting from the proceeds. Support The Road Home while having a haunting good time!

The dates for the haunted house are: October 11,12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 and 31.For more information go to: 

             http://www.hauntedwisconsin.com/events/horror-in-the-dark/

 

Race to Equity: A Baseline Report on the State of Racial Disparities in Dane County

The entire Road Home staff and several board members attended the Racial Justice Summit on October 2, 1013. Troubling statistics about Dane County's racial disparities was reported. This new report summarizes the first year of data collection conducted by WCCF's (Wisconsin Council on Children and Families) Race to Equity project, a multi-year initiative whose goal is to explore, measure, and analyse the extent and pattern of disparities in key measures of well-being between African American and whites in Dane County (October 3, 2013).  View/Download the report at the Race To Equity website (www.racetoequity.net).

 

Housing & Hope Phase II

The Road Home is excited to welcome the first eight families into their apartments at Phase II.

Once the renovations are completed, a total of 15 families will have a place to call home. Living in Housing & Hope brings stability, social support and dignity to families who have braved the plight of homelessness and helps them transition beyond crisis to be able to achieve life-long goals.

 

The Madison Metropolitan School District identified more than 1,100 students as homeless during the 2012-2013 school year.

Research shows that compared to housed children, homeless children experience twice the rate of chronic or acute illnesses, twice the rate of learning disabilities and three times the rate of emotional or behavioral problems. As a result, homeless children often fall behind in school and have less than half the rate of proficiency in math and reading as their housed classmates. The long term effect?fewer than one in four graduates from high school.

For more information about the impact of homelessness on families with children, go to: American Almanac of Family Homelessness, 2013, produced by The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness.

 

Additional Press Information for The Road Home

New Executive Director
Families Moving Forward (June)
2013 Summer Newsletter
2012 Annual Report (PDF)
2011 Annual Report (PDF)
2010 Annual Report (PDF)
2009 Annual Report (PDF)
2008 Annual Report (PDF)

 

 

 

Archival News

 

Housing & Hope Campaign “Home Stretch”

We are thrilled to announce that, thanks to a $450,000 gift from Mary Burke, The Road Home is very close to completing the Housing & Hope campaign! Now we are in the "Home Stretch". We need to raise $85,000 more to finish the campaign and create our second neighborhood of 15 Housing & Hope apartments. Please help us by printing this pledge form and mailing it in with your contribution today! The Housing and Hope campaign is an innovative strategy that pairs affordable apartments with on-site support services for homeless families. Fifteen units are already occupied by formerly homeless families from Wisconsin who are moving forward toward their goals.

 

Sprecher’s Restaurant Food Tasting

Join us on Wednesday, March 16th at Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for a food & beverage tasting. $25.00 per person for this tasty tour with proceeds benefiting The Road Home Dane County. Sprecher’s Restaurant is located at 1262 John Q. Hammons Drive, Madison. Reservations are required, please call 608-203-6545 to make yours today!

Award-Winning Activist/Photographer Gets First Wisconsin Retrospective

Mark your calendar for a don't-miss treat! From August 1st to September 10th, the Wisconsin Academy will host "Images from an Activist Lens--1959-2009" in its gallery at 1922 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin. This exciting exhibit comprises several dozen selected photos from the activist lens of Franklynn Peterson; Wisconsin's first chance to see his best works.

You are invited to the Opening Reception August 1st, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. All net proceeds from sale of prints or heavily illustrated catalogs during the exhibition will be divided between Transitional Housing and Porchlight nonprofits.

Peterson's distinguished and frequently dangerous professional photojournalistic career took him from the idylls of Wisconsin's north woods to the bowels of the Civil Rights movement, mines of Pennsylvania, hovels of Cuba and slums of New York--including the homeless where he found them. His photos hang in art galleries in Chelsea NY, Los Angeles CA and Athens GA. This will be his first Wisconsin retrospective.
MEDIA ADVISORY CONTACT: Cyndi Wood, Development Director

235-6376 or send an email

The Road Home Provides Affordable Housing…and Hope for Madison Area Families

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz To Speak At July 17 Ribbon Cutting

What: Ribbon Cutting to Celebrate the Completion of Housing & Hope Apartments – Phase 1
When: Saturday, July 17, 2010, 1:00-2:30 p.m. (Ribbon cutting and remarks at 1:30 p.m.)
Where: 714 Vera Court, Madison, WI 53704
Why: With the completion of phase 1 of The Road Home’s Housing & Hope Campaign, fifteen families and 42children who were once homeless now have affordable, supportive housing. In November 2009, The Road Home purchased and renovated two existing eight-unit apartment buildings to create 15 residential units and one case management office/community room. Monthly rent is determined on a sliding scale based upon income. A professional case manager works on site with residents to help them overcome barriers and reach stability. With phase 2 of the project, The Road Home will purchase and renovate an additional 15 units to complete their goal of creating a total of 30 units of affordable housing for homeless families with children.
Who: Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Road Home Executive Director Rachel Krinsky, Road Home Board President Pasty Miller and a Resident Family will speak at the event. Parking may be difficult; media interested in attending should call Cyndi Wood in advance to make arrangements for parking. Visit www.trhome.org for a map.

Miss the event? You can see the local news coverage here:

 

Effort to provide housing for homeless families receives $100,000 grant

(Madison) Tuesday, May 4, 2010. A project to provide housing for 30 homeless families has received a $100,000 grant from the Madison Community Foundation, but needs another $1.1 million to reach its goal. The Road Home Dane County is trying to raise $4.5 million to buy four buildings and renovate 30 apartments. The first phase on Madison's North Side is nearly complete with 13 families already moved in and two more expected to move in soon, executive director Rachel Krinsky said.

The Madison Community Foundation contributed $150,000 to the first phase, which raised $3 million before the recession hit, Krinsky said. The second phase with another 15 units is expected to break ground in 2011. Those people interested in contributing should visit www.trhome.org. Madison Community Foundation encourages, facilitates and manages long-term philanthropy. Since 1942, the foundation staff has helped people realize their philanthropic goals, allowing them to support charitable interests anywhere in the world. The community foundation also awards grants throughout Dane County to build communities. More information is available online at www.madisoncommunityfoundation.org.

 

Four Madison Area Families Find a Home in Time for the Holidays

The Road Home Dane County Purchases Apartment Buildings for Homeless Families
(Madison) November 19, 2009. This Friday, November 20, four homeless families will finally have a place to call home as they move into apartments recently purchased by The Road Home Dane County. The organization now owns two eight-unit apartment buildings at 714 and 802 Vera Court on Madison’s north side and will provide 15 low-income families with affordable housing, a community room and on-site case management.

For Jason Hart & Melissa Milheiser and their two children Olivia (3) and Troy (1), this means a place to spend Thanksgiving together. “The Road Home has given our family hope for our future when we thought all was lost,” says Melissa. Melissa and Jay’s family are excellent candidates for the Housing and Hope apartments. They can’t qualify for any other housing because they have poor credit and housing records. But these days, both are employed full-time, working closely with their case manager and participating in counseling and other support services. They are taking excellent care of Olivia and Troy, who are their best motivations for a better future.

“The staff and volunteers are like family. They raise us up when we are down and celebrate our successes with us,” adds Melissa. “After dealing with homelessness for three years, affordable housing is part of the answer for us. With the help of our on-site case manager and the support provided through the program I have no doubt that our family will succeed.”

The Road Home, a United Way agency formerly known as Interfaith Hospitality Network, has been helping families for the past 10 years to find stable housing and to become independent by providing case management, connecting families with local resources, and collaborating with local faith communities and organizations to provide shelter, meals and support.

While The Road Home has been able to help about 90 families annually, the lack of affordable housing in Madison has meant that hundreds of other deserving families have been turned away. Nearly all of the families the organization serves have incomes well below 30 percent of the area median income and most can only afford to pay about $250 per month in rent.

“There is a desperate shortage of housing for the very lowest income families, but with the purchase of these two buildings, we can create supportive, safe neighborhoods where families can thrive,” says The Road Home Executive Director Rachel Krinsky. “Today we will make a difference in the lives of these four families, and we envision a future where many more families will be helped as we renovate the remaining units and purchase additional buildings.”

Families will pay rent on a sliding scale with the standard rental rate of 30 percent of income or $200 whichever is higher and will also participate in case management services.

In 2008, the Road Home launched “Housing and Hope” a capital campaign created for the purpose of raising $4.5 million to buy and renovate 30 apartments and to create an endowment called the “Forever Fund” to ensure that the units remain affordable. Wisconsin School of Business Dean Mike Knetter is chairing the campaign which has raised $3 million towards its goal from local foundations, individuals and corporations. A key community partner, Meridian Group, Inc. facilitated the purchase of the buildings and will renovate and manage the properties.

The “Housing and Hope” campaign still needs to raise $1.5 million to complete the second phase of the housing project. Those interested in helping homeless families by becoming involved with The Road Home should visit www.trhome.org. Individuals can donate to the “Housing and Hope” campaign, volunteer or donate items on the agency’s wish list.

The Great Pumpkin Giveaway

The event was held on Saturday, October 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Oak Bank located at 5951 McKee Road in Fitchburg, WI and raised $2,015 in donations. In addition, the attendees brought diapers, wipes, personal care items, cleaning supplies and more! The event was generously sponsored by: Oak Bank and Melius Schurr & Cardwell, Physcians for Women.

On May 17th, 2009 we celebrated our 10th Anniversary!

Many supporters, volunteers, host and buddy congregations, and staff gathered at Covenant Presbyterian Church to celebrate 10 years of serving housing needs of people in Dane County. We took a physical tour of the Covenant Presbyterian shelter site.

1st Annual Making a Difference in Dane Golf Scramble & Raffle

The 1st Annual Making a Difference in Dane Charity Golf Scramble and Raffle was a fundraiser for The Road Home which benefits families in need.  This event took place on Monday, September 15, 2008 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.  (www.golftheoaks.com).

Housewarming Party!

The board of directors and staff of The Road Home, formerly known as Interfaith Hospitality Network, held a housewarming party and tours of our new day center and offices on
Sunday July, 27th. If you haven't seen our new facility please arrange for a visit!

Location: 128 E. Olin Avenue, Suite 202 Madison, WI 53713
Please contact Cyndi Wood, Development Director at
608.294.7998 x311 or send an email

Thank you for supporting Interfaith Hospitality Network / The Road Home

Wisconsin State Journal: Housing Planned for the Very Poor

By Patricia Simms
608-252-6492
Email
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/276218

With an economy gone soft and money and credit tight, a local nonprofit is developing housing for very poor families.

Calling the effort "Housing and Hope, " the Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Madison Area is trying to raise $4 million to buy, renovate and operate four existing eight-unit buildings that would be rented to homeless families that can pay about $250 a month or less for a place to live.

"Nearly all of our families have incomes well below 30 percent of the area median income, " said IHN Executive Director Rachel Krinsky. In Dane County, 30 percent of median income is $23,280 for a family of four, according to state figures.

"In other words, most of our families can afford to pay about $250 per month, which is about one-third of the average market rent for a two-bedroom apartment, " she said. "Normal forms of financing and property development simply cannot reach this level of affordability. "

What makes the project more urgent is a rental market fanned by weakening home sales, wary mortgage lenders, a desperate local need for housing for this income level and the difficulties of keeping such projects afloat financially, experts say.

Forever Fund

An unusual feature is the Forever Fund, an endowment expected to provide annual subsidies to make sure the units stay affordable for the very poor.

"To produce housing for very low income people, a developer like Interfaith Hospitality Network has to get lucky by finding less expensive property to buy, lower the cost of building or rehabilitating the housing as much as possible, and raise a lot of grant money or secure rental subsidies, " said Bill Perkins, executive director of the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development Inc.

Tom Landgraf, a consultant the city hired for the redevelopment of Allied Drive, said a weak economy creates special problems for the very poor. "When the economy is in the tank, the number of people who need affordable housing grows, but it gets tougher to do it," Landgraf said.

Landgraf, who serves on the Dane County Housing Authority Board, said federal housing vouchers for the poor work, but waiting lists to get a voucher in Madison and Dane County are long.

"The quick math is that there are almost as many people on the list to get them as have them, which shows me that in a cursory view of the market, the housing voucher program is maybe dealing with half the need," Landgraf said.

Sliding Scale

The units the hospitality network is proposing would be available to at least some families who can't pay any rent, Krinsky said, though she said families would have to agree to participate in services to help them find a job and make money. Families would pay rent on a sliding scale. The standard rental rate will be either 30 percent of income or $200, whichever is higher. If a family reaches 50 percent of adjusted median income and maintains this income level for six months, they will need to move out within a few months to make room for another very low income family. The difference between what the unit costs to buy and renovate -- estimated at $75,000 per unit -- and what a family can pay in rent will be supplied by the endowment. "The Forever Fund's endowment ... will ensure that these buildings are subsidized and have support services for decades to come," Krinsky said. "Most low-income housing projects have a period of affordability -- usually 15 or 30 years -- after which the housing will revert to market rate. Few such projects include support services, and those that do must raise funds annually to continue them. "This forever ' guarantee of affordability and services is very unique and probably the most cutting edge part of the initiative. It means that, once it is in place, Housing & Hope will be a community legacy that can support itself." Krinsky said the agency hasn't yet found the buildings to be purchased, but the plan envisions there would be two buildings close together in one neighborhood and two in another, for a total of 30 living units and two case management offices on site. She said $2.3 million of the $4 million has already been raised.

Affordable Housing Initiative

What's happening: The Interfaith Hospitality Network is trying to raise $4 million to buy and renovate four eight-unit apartment buildings for very low-income families.

Partner: Meridian Group, Inc., a for-profit affordable housing developer.

Location: As yet undetermined neighborhoods in Madison.

What's unusual: The units will be subsidized by a   Forever Fund, an endowment designed to make sure the units remain affordable for the very poor.
This article was published on March 8, 2008 in the Wisconsin State Journal.

IHN Launches $4 Million Housing and Hope Campaign

Funds will Create More Affordable Housing and Services

Madison, WI - Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Madison Area (IHN) today announced the kick-off of a $4 million Housing and Hope Campaign to help homeless families in the Madison area. This bold initiative will provide funds to develop 30 affordable apartments, supported with on-site case management services, to help families achieve long-term stability and success.

Mike Knetter, Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW, is chairing the aggressive fund-raising effort and believes that as more businesses and individuals learn about the Housing and Hope Campaign, IHN will reach their goals.  He was first introduced to IHN through his church, which is one of 50 congregations that provide shelter and support to IHN families.

The Kick-off Celebration of the Housing and Hope Campaign is being held at the Blackhawk Country Club, tonight, Wed. Feb. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tony Galli, Channel 27's well-known reporter, will be the emcee ! for the event. He is also an IHN volunteer.

Virginia Bartelt, IHN Board president stated, "This innovative project will give hope and security to children and parents who are now without a home. I'm proud to be involved in this community effort because we will be helping families build a better and brighter future."

IHN works with 50 local faith communities, United Way of Dane County, Salvation Army, the YWCA and many other community organizations to serve homeless families.  Over 1,000 Dane County families are homeless each year.  The United Way has identified reducing homelessness in their "Agenda for Change" initiative, as one of seven community priorities in the Madison area.

According to Lau Christensen, United Way Volunteer Leader and Vice Chair for the Vision Council,   "As United Way works to reduce family homelessness in Dane County by 50%, we are excited about The Housing and Hope initiative.  This is an innovative and effective approach, drawing from the best practices and successes o f other communities, and it will have an impact on the critical issue of homelessness in families.  We are proud to support this important program and look forward to seeing more children in our community living in a secure home."

The Housing and Hope Campaign will provide the resources to create accessible, affordable, permanent housing and services in the Madison area. IHN will purchase and rehabilitate four existing eight-unit apartment buildings with the help of the Meridian Group, Inc. Meridian will then manage the properties. IHN has identified several criteria for the buildings' locations, including neighborhoods with mixed-incomes, close proximity to bus lines, and access to grocery stores. The buildings will have a mixture of two and three bedroom apartments. Meridian Group has already identified two potential neighborhoods. The purchase and rehabilitation cost of the buildings is expected to be approximately $2 million dollars.  

IHN has also created an endowment fund at the Madison Community Foundation that will allow the 30 apartments to be permanently affordable. This permanent fund, capitalized with $2 million of the total funds raised will offset rents, assist with maintenance and provide case management services for families living in the apartments. The fund is needed to assure that families can truly afford decent and safe housing.  The rent will be based on a sliding scale.   

According to Kathleen Woit, president of The Madison Community Foundation, "Our recent gift of $150,000 to help launch the Housing and Hope Campaign is the latest of several gifts given over the years, and is testimony to the great admiration our board and staff have for the work of IHN. This initiative will address our family and community development focus areas by creating affordable housing that is so critically needed. We expect that our major gift will encourage many other donors to support this campaign."

Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director of IHN, stated, "The Housing and Hope initiative will create an innovative permanent housing solution for families and children who, today, cannot access any housing at all. We are grateful to Mike Knetter for his leadership and to each of the donors, volunteers and partners who are helping us realize this vision. I am honored to work with so many talented people who are dedicated to this important and long-needed community goal."

Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Madison Area (IHN) has been serving homeless families in the area since 1999. IHN is supported by 50 local congregations, a number of corporations and 1,500+ volunteers who provide shelter and resources to homeless families. A United Way agency, IHN also works with other agencies through the Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County. IHN programs include: a Shelter Network, Housing Stabilization, Second Chance Apartment Project and the Tenant Advocacy Group (T.A.G.). For further information, visit: www.ihnmadison.org or call IHN at 608-294-7998.

UW Dean Mike Knetter to Chair IHN's Capital Campaign

Housing and Hope - Helping Families Succeed

Madison, WI - Wisconsin School of Business Dean Mike Knetter has signed on to chair an ambitious $4 million capital campaign, Housing and Hope - Helping Families Succeed, being launched by IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Madison Area), a local organization that has been helping Madison area homeless families since 1999.

Knetter, who recently orchestrated the unique $85 million naming gift from UW alumni to retain the Wisconsin School of Business name for the next 20 years, learned about IHN through his local church, Covenant Presbyterian, and friends who were involved with the program.  The church is one of 50 local congregations that provide shelter, volunteer support and donations to IHN homeless families on a regular basis.  
    
"We are so grateful to have Mike's leadership in this project, knowing the many other responsibilities he deals with on a daily basis.  His fundraising successes combined with his passion for helping people provide incredible gifts to the campaign," said Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director of IHN.  

Dean Knetter and his wife, Karen, hope that donors will join together to help IHN provide the support Madison area homeless families need to stabilize themselves and regain self-sufficiency.  According to Knetter, "I was impressed by the holistic approach IHN takes to addressing the underlying problems faced by families through their intensive case work and by the dedicated leadership of Rachel Krinsky.  I hope to help Rachel and her team find the resources they need to help more families."  

IHN's Housing and Hope capital campaign goal of $4 million dollars will be used to rehabilitate 30 apartments in several locations in the Madison area and to endow the apartments and the case work program to make them "affordable forever."  IHN, a United Way agency, was given a start-up grant to help them begin the planning process and organize the campaign.  

IHN is working with Meridian Group, Inc., an established developer and manager of affordable housing, to purchase, rehabilitate and manage the apartment buildings so IHN can continue to focus on providing effective support services for families such as shelter, case management, access to education and health care financial management and other services and resources.  

A kick-off reception event for the Housing and Hope campaign will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, and will be hosted by well-known Channel 27 News Reporter Tony Galli.  Those interested in attending the event or wishing to find out how they can support the campaign, should contact: Cyndi Wood, Development Director, IHN: via email or call her at: 608-294-7998, ext. 311.   

IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Madison Area) has been serving homeless families in the area since 1999. IHN is supported by 50 local congregations, a number of corporations and 1,500+ volunteers who provide shelter and resources to homeless families. A United Way agency, IHN also works with other agencies through the Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County. IHN programs include: a Shelter Network, Housing Stabilization, Second Chance Apartment Project and a Tenant Advocacy Group (T.A.G.). For further information, visit: http://www.ihnmadison.org or call IHN at 608-294-7998.