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Would you like to understand more about the issue of homelessness? Here are some resources to help you get started.

Homelessness in Our Community

Nowhere to Go: Wisconsin Renters Face Eviction as Emergency Aid Falls Short (Channel 2000, August 22, 2020)
Nearly 200,000 Wisconsin households, or 27% of state renters, are behind on rent and at risk of eviction.

Need for Rental Assistance Grows as Dane County Issues Funding (ABC 27 WKOW, July 1, 2020)
Dane county created a $10 million eviction prevention fund to reach those most in need. In just two weeks, more than 4,000 Dane County renters have applied for help to pay their bills.

Wisconsin, Dane County Move to Establish Relief for Renters (The Cap Times, May 22, 2020)
Governor Tony Evers recently announced the $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program to assist state residents who earn 80% or less of the county median income.

Dane County Board Sets Priorities for CARES Fund (The Cap Times, May 21, 2020) The Dane County Board of Supervisors made stable housing a priority in their budget for utilizing federal emergency CARES funds, allocating $10 million for eviction prevention and $9 million for homeless services.

Alice in Wisconsin: A Financial Hardship Study (United Way, 2020)
This report provides a point-in-time snapshot of economic conditions across the state for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed adults in Wisconsin.

“We Have More to Do,” Wisconsin Has Nation’s 3rd Worst African-American Homeownership Rate (ABC 27 WKOW, February 25, 2020)
Many experts agree that home ownership is the key to building wealth. Yet with a rate of African-American homeownership of 10.1 percent, Dane County is one of the largest contributors to the racial home ownership gap in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Homelessness Statistics (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, 2020)
Data shows that nearly 19,000 public school students in Wisconsin experience homelessness in the course of one school year. Most of these are living doubled up with friends or families.

State of Homelessness: Wisconsin (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2019)
While family homelessness rates have dropped significantly over the last few years in our community, statistics show general homelessness rates are still high in Dane County. Dane County has 11.4 homeless per 10,000 people in the population, compared to 9.1 in Milwaukee county and 7.7 in the state of Wisconsin.

Locked Out: How Sweeping Changes to Wisconsin Landlord-Tenant Laws Affect Vulnerable Populations (The Cap Times, Feb 7, 2018)
Since 2011, Wisconsin’s Legislature has passed more than 100 changes to landlord-tenant law. The laws have sped up the eviction process, made it easier to evict tenants, allowed landlords greater power to look into tenant’s histories and pulled back local control.

Evicted in Dane County: A Collaborative Examination of the Housing Landscape (October 2016)
A recent report by graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that “between 2000 and 2015 there were 40,439 eviction court cases initiated in Dane County, with an average of 2,527 cases per year.” The summer months had the highest number of evictions.

Digging Deeper: Life in Limbo for Hundreds of Madison Area Kids Living in Motels (Madison WKOW, February 2017)
Homeless kids living in motels face a wide range of problems—including cramped sleeping quarters, no space for possessions and constant instability. Reporters spoke with The Road Home staff while preparing this piece.

Seeing is Believing: It’s Hard to Deny the Awful Reality of Homelessness in Madison (Isthmus, January 2017)
The city of Madison has taken some important steps in its fight against homelessness by building affordable housing and putting homeless liaisons in the schools. Still, the problem looms large. Melissa Mennig, The Road Home Program Director, contributed to this story.

Homelessness Across the County

Economic Fall-Out From COVID-19 Continues to Hit Low-Income Americans the Hardest (Pew Research Center, September 24, 2020)
Nearly one-third of low-income adults say they have found it difficult to pay their rent or mortgage.

New Data Suggests COVID-19 is Widening Housing Disparities by Race and Income (Urban Institute, May 29, 2020)
People of color and low-income families already faced disproportionate levels of housing instability, stemming in large part from structural racism and discrimination. With COVID strongly affecting these same populations, disparities are growing.

Greater Resources Required to Protect People Experiencing Homelessness from COVID-19 (Center for Poverty and Inequality, May 2020)
People experiencing homelessness have a heightened vulnerability to the COVID-19 disease. This is due in part to higher rates of health conditions and less access to health care. Often their living conditions make social distancing difficult.

Coronavirus Could Crush the Poor, Advocates Warn (US News & World Report, March 19, 2020)
Researchers and advocates warn that low-income and housing insecure families could be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 emergency due to crowded living conditions, more job loss and elevated health risks.

Breaking Down the Black-White Home Ownership Gap (Urban Institute, February 21, 2020)
The gap between the black and white homeownership rates in the United States has increased to its highest level in 50 years to 30.1 percentage points in 2017.

Children and Families (National Alliance to End Homelessness, January 2020)
Research shows that compared to other low-income children, homeless children are more likely to have serious health issues, lower academic performances and higher levels of emotional problems. But research also shows that children are resilient and when they are able to obtain stable housing again, these differences diminish over time.

Federal Data Summary 2014-15 to 2016-17 (National Center for Homeless Education, Feb 2019)
Research shows it’s hard for children to learn when they’re homeless. Nationwide only 30% of children experiencing homelessness test proficient in reading and 25% tested proficient in math. Wisconsin children experiencing homelessness did particularly poorly with less than 16% scoring proficient in math.

2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (The US Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD], 2018)
HUD’s newest report showed a slight increase in homelessness although family homelessness continued to decline. African Americans were significantly over represented, accounting for 13% of the total population but 40% of the homeless population.

Home, Together. The Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, 2018).
This report reviews the progress made across the country in the last few years and sets a plan for the future. The plan emphasizes the importance of continuing to adhere to Housing First practices, connecting people experiencing homelessness to “permanent housing swiftly and with few to no treatment preconditions, behavioral contingencies, or other barriers.” The plan also suggests focusing on developing and expanding the supply of safe and affordable rental homes.

Homelessness in America: Focus on Families with Children (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Sept 2018)
While data reflects encouraging progress in the reduction of the overall number of families
experiencing unsheltered or sheltered homelessness, data reported by school districts reflect an increase in the number of students identified as experiencing homelessness at some point during the school year. Homeless children have higher rates of mental health problems, developmental delays, cognitive outcomes and depression.

The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes (National Low Income Housing Coaltion – NLIHC, March 2018)
This report discusses the shortage of affordable housing in our country, concluding that the US has a shortage of 7.2 million rental affordable and available to extremely low income households. Yet, extremely low income households account for over 25% of all renter households.

2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (The US Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD], 2017)
HUD’s recent summary showed overall decreases in family homelessness across the country. Homelessness among families with children declined 5.4 percent nationwide since 2016 and a 27% decrease since 2010. There were increases in overall homelessness in some communities though.

Out of Reach 2017 (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
This report tells us that: “In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home in the U.S., renters need to earn a wage of $21.21 per hour. The Housing Wage for a two-bedroom apartment is $13.96 higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and $4.83 higher than the average hourly wage of $16.38 earned by renters nationwide.”

Priced Out in the United States (Technical Assistance Collaborative, 2017)
According to this report, “In 2016, there was no housing market in the United States where a person with a disability whose sole source of income was SSI could afford a safe, decent rental unit.” Supplemental Security Income is $763 a month while the average rent in the US is $861. The report includes policy suggestions.

2016 The State of Homelessness in Wisconsin (Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Report, June 2017)
This reports gives an overview of homelessness in Wisconsin. It states that homelessness has decreased in the past few years. 44% of homeless clients were served in Dane or Milwaukee counties and 41% of homeless clients served were in families. Black Wisconsinites were twelve times more likely to be homeless than white Wisconsinites.