Madison, WI – Representative Pat Snyder (R-Schofield) continued his support on Tuesday for initiatives to end and prevent homelessness in Wisconsin. Rep. Snyder assisted in authoring the legislative package that was heard on the Assembly Floor Tuesday afternoon called “A Hand for the Homeless”, which included eight bills to reduce and prevent homelessness.

The set of bills follow last session’s first steps towards curbing homelessness, including the creation of the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH). The legislation in “A Hand for the Homeless” directly mirrors the recommendations made in the ICH’s statewide action plan, A Hand and a Home: Foundations for Success.

“This legislative package was a truly collaborative effort. The Director of the ICH worked closely with homeless service providers to learn what this population really needs, and to advocate among the legislature for these changes. I am confident the funding increases and policy changes we passed will be transformational for our homeless community.”

“A Hand for the Homeless” includes new programming and $3.75 million in new spending – a number that more that doubles the state’s current commitment to address the issue. The funding includes an additional $500,000 for the Homeless Prevention Program, $900,000 for the Housing Assistance Program, and $250,000 to the Skills Enhancement Program – meant to work in tandem to attack homelessness from every angle.

“I am particularly proud of the bill that I was lead author of; it triples the amount of funding in the Housing Assistance Program, which is the state’s most flexible funding source for combating homelessness. This type of funding enables service provides to use innovative, tailored strategies to meet each community’s needs.”

The funding for the legislative package was approved by the Joint Committee on Finance in the state’s budget. All eight bills passed out of the Assembly with bipartisan support, and now head to the state Senate for their consideration.

You can find more information on the “A Hand for the Homeless” bills here.

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