Interagency Council on Homelessness

Interagency Council on Homelessness launches "Welcoming Wisconsin Home: A Statewide Action Plan for Homelessness 2021-2023"

​​​February 28, 2022 - The Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness today launched "Welcoming Wisconsin Home: A Statewide Action Plan for Homelessness 2021-2023". This is the result of two years' work by the Council, its workgroup, and input from communities, agencies, and concerned citizens statewide.

Click here to download the "Welcoming Wisconsin Home" statewide action plan.

Click here to download the Plan's Full Performance Metrics.

Click here to read Governor Evers' press release on the launching of "Welcoming Wisconsin Home".​


The Wisconsin Eviction Data Project website is Live

​​​May 13, 2021 - The Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness is pleased to announce the launching of the Wisconsin Eviction Data Project web site. At this site you will be able to view per-county counts of eviction filings and judgements collected per-month in real time. You can find the website here.

About the Interagency Council on Homelessness

The Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) was created by 2017 Wisconsin Act 74, which received unanimous support in both the Assembly and the Senate. It meets under existing statutory authority with the goal of preventing and ending homelessness in the state of Wisconsin.

The membership of the Interagency Council on Homelessness:

Governor Tony Evers, Chair
Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld (Department of Administration)
Sec​retary-designee Karen Timberlake​​​ (Department of Health Services)
Secretary Mary Kolar (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Secretary Emilie Amundson (Department of Children and Families)
Secretary Kevin Carr (Department of Corrections)
Deputy Secretary Pam McGillivray (Department of Workforce Development)
Elmer Moore, Jr.,​ Executive Director (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority)
State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly (Department of Public Instruction)
Torrie Kopp Mueller (Dane County Continuum of Care)
Rafael Acevedo, Jr. (Milwaukee Continuum of Care)
Teresa Reinders (Continuum of Care for the City and County of Racine)
Carrie Poser (Balance of State Continuum of Care)


2017 Act 74 also authorized a full-time Director to lead the activities of the council and coordinate the implementation of policies established by the ICH. Governor Evers appointed Michael Basford to be the current director in May, 2019. The Council confirmed the nomination in June, 2019.

Per state statutes, the Council holds four quarterly meetings per year and eight workgroup sessions. The schedule for 2022 meetings is here​​. [Updated 8/29/22. ​Until further notice, meetings will be held virtually - consult meeting notices for links and further information​] Click on the "ICH Meeting Notices" on the left to view materials from meetings.

Member Agencies and Select State Programs

Department of Administration
NameTypePurpose
Critical Assistance (CA)StateProvide direct emergency financial assistance for rent, security deposit, foreclosure prevention
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)Federal to StateProvide funds to meet housing needs of persons with AIDS
State Shelter Subsidy Grant (SSSG)StateProvide funds to emergency shelters and motel voucher programs
Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)Federal to StateProvide rental assistance funds, must be partnered wth supportive services
Emergency Shelter, Housing, Homeless Prevention Program (EHH)Federal and StateProvide funds for street outreach, emergency shelter, homeless prevention, and rapid re-housing
Employment GrantStateProvides funds to a municipality to connect homeless individuals with permanent employment
Homeless Case Management Services GrantStateProvides funds for intensive case management services to homeless families. The services focus on providing financial management, employment, ensuring school continuation for children, and enrolling unemployed or underemployed parents in W-2 or FSET.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)Federal to StateProvide funding to units of general local governments to develop viable communities through the provision of decent affordable housing, a suitable living environment, and the expansion of economic opportunities, principally for the benefit of persons of low and moderate income.
Rental Housing Development Program (RHD)Federal to StateAssists eligible housing organizations, including Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), with funds to develop affordable rental housing. For-profit corporations may partner with the above-mentioned groups or apply directly for RHD funds. Funds may be used for acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction activities.
WI Weatherization Assistance ProgramStateProvides funds to various agencies throughout the state to provide weatherization services to eligible households. Agencies include community action agencies, housing authorities, local governments and other non-profit organizations.
WI Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)Federal and StateProvides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations.
Department of Children and Families
NameTypePurpose
Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY)Federal or StateProvide street outreach, emergency shelter, and transitional living programs to runaway and homeless youth.
Emergency Assistance (EA)Federal to StateProvides one-time cash payment to help low-income parents pay an emergency housing or utility-related expense.
Wisconsin WorksStateProvides temporary cash assistance and case management services to low-income parents and pregnant women. Funding and services are time-limited.
Independent Living - Transition ResourceStateRegional Transition Resource Agencies are responsible for providing Independent Living services for youth ages 18-21, who are no longer in out-of-home care.
Department of Health Services
NameTypePurpose
Projects for Assistance in Transition from HomelessnessFederal to StateProvide funds to serve individuals with serious mental illness and substance use who are homeless – eligible activities include: outreach, screening/diagnosis, case management, AODA treatment, supportive services.
SSI/SSDI Outreach and Recovery (SOAR)Federal to StateAssist people who are homeless expedite SSI/SSDI application process and access benefits.
Emergency Food Assistance (TEFAP)Federal to StateTEFAP is a federal program that provides food commodities to distribution sites – food pantries & meal sites.
Foodshare Employment Training (FSET)StateFSET is a free program that helps FoodShare members build their job skills and find jobs.
MedicaidFederal and StateManages Medicaid health insurance for those age 65 or older, blind, or disabled.
BadgerCare PlusFederal and StateA health care coverage program for low-income Wisconsin residents.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)StateConnect to resources, assistance in applying for Medicaid & SSI, provide benefit specialists.
Community Mental Health ProgramsFederal and StateComprehensive Community Services (CCS) – County/Tribal level for mental health, AODA, or dual
Community Support Programs (CSP) - mental health
Community Recovery Services (CRS) - AODA
Department of Veteran's Affairs
NameTypePurpose
HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)Federal to StateCombines Section 8 housing choice voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans and case management and clinical services provided by VA.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF)Federal to StateDVA awards grants to private non-profit organizations to provide outreach, case management, & assist in obtaining VA and other benefits. Eligible activities in prevention or rapid re-housing.
Assistance to Needy Veterans Grant (ANVG)StateProvides limited financial assistance to those in need and who have exhausted all other sources of aid. The grants may be used for specified health care and subsistence needs up to maximum grant limits.
Veteran Housing and Recovery Program (VHRP)StateDesigned to help homeless veterans receive the job training, education, counseling and rehabilitative services they need to obtain steady employment, affordable housing and the skills to sustain a productive lifestyle.
Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP)StateProvides assistance and support Veterans with all aspects of daily living with a focus on home, health, recovery, purpose, and community. This includes National Guard and Reserve service members.
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
NameTypePurpose
Section 8 - Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) ProgramFederal to StateHelps families with very low to extremely low incomes rent decent, safe, sanitary and affordable housing of their choice. Note that WHEDA does not distribute or accept Housing Choice Voucher applications directly, rather through contracted agencies.
WHEDA Housing Grant ProgramStateProvides an annual competition for grant funds with the mission to assist in the improvement of the state's housing for the following special needs populations.
Low-Income Housing Tax CreditFederal and StateProvides a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income taxes owed by owners/investors in qualified projects for tenants whose incomes are at or below 60% of County Median Income (CMI). The LIHTC program creates housing that is affordable for low- and moderate-income households including elderly, chronically homeless, workforce, individuals & families.
Department of Corrections
NameTypePurpose
Emergency HousingStateDay to day accommodations at hotels/motels or boarding houses (30-60 days).
Short-Term HousingStateYear round contracted housing beds with no site checks (60-90 days).
Supplemental HousingStateOffender leased housing where DCC may pay all or part of the monthly rent (60- 90 days).
Transitional Housing
StateHousing is provided in the form of one to two bedroom apartment(s) or a facility with multiple single- or double-occupancy bedrooms with access to congregate living areas and shared kitchen. The contractor supplies all bedding, household supplies, food, and staff supervision via random on-site inspections. Offenders attend on-site program services as determined by their agent and are allowed to work if they have outside employment.
Department of Workforce Development
NameTypePurpose
Workforce Innovataion and Opportunities Act (WIOA)Federal to StateWIOA seeks to more fully integrate states' workforce and talent development systems to better serve employers and job seekers.
Veteran Employment ProgramStateAssist Veterans enter the workforce through targeted business engagement and effective employment services. DWD & DVA offer a WI Veteran Employment Grant Program to encourage Wisconsin employers to hire and retain eligible Veterans.
Vocational RehabilitationStateVR services are any services described in a plan for employment necessary to assist a consumer in preparing for, securing, retaining or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of the consumer.
Department of Public Instruction
NameTypePurpose
Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY)Federal and StateThe program's major responsibility is to implement the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Homeless children and unaccompanied homeless youth must have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, and other services as provided to other children and youths to ensure that homeless children and youth have an opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic standards to which all students are held.




ICH Documents

2021 Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness Annual Report to the Governor and State Legislature

2020 Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness Annual Report to the Governor and State Legislature

2019 Wisconsin Interagency ​​​Council on Homelessness Annual Report to the Governor and State Legislature


2020-2021 State Agency Presentation Files

​Department of Children and Families (presented at 2-11-20 Workgroup Meeting)

Department of Veterans Affairs (presented at 3-12-20 Workgroup Meeting)

Department of Administration (presented at 8-19-20 Workgroup Meeting)

Department of Corrections (presented at 10-6-20 Workgroup Meeting)

Department of Health Services (presented at 10-14-20 Workgroup Meeting)

Department of Workforce Development (presented at 12-2-20 Workgroup Meeting)

- Homeless Population Served by Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

- Homeless Population Served by ​Division of ​Employment and Training

- Homelessness and the Open Housing Law by Equal Rights Division

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (presented at 3-11-21 Workgroup Meeting)

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (presented at 3-16-21 Workgroup Meeting)​​​


Vision Statement & Statewide Plan

By adopting this plan and the strategies it contains, the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness is endorsing a vision for homeless services. That vision is built on the following principles: 

 
1) The Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness affirms the idea that housing is a human right. The Council affirms the idea that everybody who wants and needs a safe, stable, and affordable home should have access to one. Included in this is the need to address the criminalization of homelessness where it emerges in Wisconsin.

2) Ending homelessness as we know it in Wisconsin means creating conditions where any future instances of homelessness are rare, brief, and non-recurring.

3) Housing is the lodestone for better outcomes throughout society. Do you wish to see your community’s economy improve? Invest in housing. Do you wish to see your schools have better test scores and outcomes? Invest in housing. Do you wish to see crime rates go down? Invest in housing. Do you wish to see families stay together and thrive? Invest in housing. Do you wish to see better physical and mental health outcomes in the community? Invest in housing. Are you a business owner who wishes to have a better pool of potential employees in your local workforce? Invest in housing. Connecting the dots between housing and these outcomes is a primary priority for the Council.

4) For people experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin, the single greatest barrier to securing stable housing is the lack of affordable housing unit availability. This is true in every area of the state, regardless of whether the area is urban, suburban, or rural. As communities throughout the state and the federal government commit to investing more to develop affordable housing for people with low incomes and extremely low incomes, Wisconsin needs to be a major partner in this investment.


5) The goal of ending homelessness as we know it in Wisconsin is inextricable from the moral imperative to address the effects of a long history of racial disparities in the homelessness system and housing markets. In a state where 83 percent of the population is white, less than 50 percent of people who are served by homelessness programs are white. This, and many other realities that outline racial disparities in housing and homelessness, is unacceptable to the Council. Wisconsin needs to identify, and fix, these disparities if we are to end homelessness as we know it. 

6) The Council supports the principles of Housing First for all programs that serve people experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin. The success of Housing First requires sufficient investment in case management and wrap-around supportive services to address client needs such as mental health disorders, substance use disorders, life skills training, and job training and placement. Additionally, success also requires the embrace of known person-centered, evidence-based, trauma-informed, and culturally competent practices that promote housing stability. This principle doesn’t preclude supporting development of recovery housing programs – where such programs do not adhere to Housing First principles.




 

​Previous 2019-2022 Statewide Action Plan



 

 

Helpful Links

Institute for Community Alliances (Wisconsin HMIS Administrator)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

National Alliance to End Homelessness

National Low-Income Housing Coalition​

Wisconsin Balance of State Continuum of Care

Milwaukee Continuum of Care

Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County

Continuum of Care for the City and County of Racine, U.A.