MILWAUKEE, WI – The Board of Supervisors unanimously (18-0) passed a resolution from Supervisor Ryan Clancy on November 5 declaring a “Right to Shelter” for any Milwaukee County resident. The resolution forms the basis for four Clancy-authored budget amendments that Supervisors will consider Monday when they convene to adopt the 2021 County budget.
Clancy’s “Right to Shelter” resolution declares that “any resident experiencing chronic homelessness and without access to safe housing will have accessible shelter”.
“Milwaukee County’s commitment to ending homelessness is something we can all be proud of, but we must also reaffirm this commitment with additional resources when necessary,” said Clancy. The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated housing insecurity and we have the responsibility to support our neighbors in need.”
Supervisor Clancy’s resolution aims to “ensure all have access to a warm bed to sleep in by providing additional beds if and when the demand for beds exceeds the capacity of existing facilities” and creates two second-shift positions in the Department of Health and Human Service’s Housing Division, the cost of which will be offset for two years by funds from an Emergency Solutions Grant from the City of Milwaukee.
Clancy’s Right to Shelter aligns with four budget amendments the Board will consider Monday: One provides flexible funds to the Housing Division to help residents in immediate danger of homelessness find or stay in shelter or housing; one creates an additional position to serve as an advocate for people with obstacles to housing who seek rental accommodations; one provides funds to find ways for existing county-owned buildings to provide services to people experiencing homelessness; and a fourth calls for analyzing the possibility of a “Right to Counsel” pilot program for individuals and families experiencing evictions and foreclosures.
Although these initiatives enjoy broad public support, the Finance Committee recommended rejection for three of the four – only the amendment establishing a Right to Counsel was recommended for adoption. All Supervisors will have the opportunity to vote on each of these amendments on Monday, November 9th when the full Board convenes to set and adopt the final 2021 budget, pending possible vetoes from the County Executive.