MADISON, Wis. (AP) – One of eight bills that are part of a bipartisan package designed to fight homelessness in Wisconsin was up for approval Tuesday in the Wisconsin Senate.
The Assembly approved all eight bills, which would spend a combined $3.7 million a year, in June. Advocates, including Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, urged the Senate to give final approval before winter so that services could be bolstered before cold temperatures and snow set in.
The bill up for approval Tuesday would increase funding for a grant program that provides funding for homeless shelters by $500,000 in each of the next two years. The program received about $1.1 million in state funding for each of the past two years.
The proposals would enact recommendations of a state panel that examined homelessness in Wisconsin, a first-of-its kind group in the state. In addition to the grants for shelters, the money would also be targeted at efforts to prevent homelessness and get people into more permanent housing.
The homelessness measures have broad support from advocates for the homeless and others who have been pressuring the Legislature to act. Groups in support include the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Catholic Conference and Wisconsin Public Health Association.