Contact: Rep. Jessie Rodriguez
MADISON – At a Capitol press conference Wednesday, Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek), joined by several Republican colleagues, unveiled a proposal that aims to end homelessness in Wisconsin through employment efforts.
“This bill takes a unique approach to ending homelessness by providing individuals with tools needed to find stable employment and begin contributing to their community,” said Rodriguez. “Meaningful employment is arguably the most crucial step to ending homelessness.”
The bill creates a pilot program through the Department of Administration to provide funding for a community program connecting homeless adults with permanent employment. Participating municipalities would be required to add financial support to be eligible for the program.
The legislation is part of a broader package of bills that focus on combating homelessness throughout Wisconsin; an issue that has recently been brought to the forefront of the public domain. Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) have been instrumental in raising awareness for the need to address homelessness in Wisconsin.
Rodriguez’s bill is modeled after Albuquerque’s “There’s a Better Way” initiative that has experienced success in New Mexico.
“This is a fiscally responsible approach that has proven successful in other parts of the country and I’m confident in its potential here in Wisconsin,” said Rodriguez.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the state to partner with a local municipality to provide people with work experience and job skills that will lead to permanent employment and reduce homelessness.”
The Assembly Republican Forward Agenda included tackling homelessness as a goal for the 2017-18 legislative session.