|We've got NEWS|
|Tuesday, February 23, 1999 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
DWD News Office
W-2s role in addressing homelessness
Statement of Secretary Linda Stewart of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, in response to consideration by the Milwaukee County Board of a resolution banning wintertime evictions in Milwaukee County:
"The causes of homelessness go well beyond W-2, as do the solutions. The search for workable remedies must begin with that much broader perspective.
"Adequately addressing homelessness therefore requires cooperation and coordination by public and private agencies throughout a community not just one, or a few.
"W-2 can not be a housing program, but W-2 staff can assist people in finding out about, and access, emergency housing within the community.
"W-2 agencies currently have extensive outreach efforts underway to make sure that those who are homeless are aware of all of the resources that W-2 makes available to them.
"They want not only to help them find emergency housing, but also to develop the skills they need to get the most out of what they earn from work as they move toward self-sufficiency.
"For example, W-2 also includes an emergency assistance program which is designed to meet the immediate needs of eligible persons facing a current emergency, including homelessness.
"W-2 participants who are at risk of becoming homeless also may be eligible to receive Job Access loans. These loans can be authorized for the payment of rent or security deposits to prevent eviction and enable an individual to obtain or maintain employment.
"Community reinvestment funds also are being used by W-2 agencies to address housing needs in several Wisconsin counties, including a portion of Milwaukee County.
"We encourage Milwaukee County to work even more with W-2 agencies and other agencies serving the homeless, and we will work with them to ensure that the services and benefits available through W-2 are used to the fullest."