This is the insult: At the same time the county is proposing to cut TRC services entirely ($95,000) so they can pay for a day center, they are not going to have the permanent comprehensive day center, but instead proposing to spend $60,000. $30,000 of it they will give to Porchlight to drive people around to various services Nov 1 – March 31, including apparently dropping them off at the Tenant Resource Center. Excuse me, but WTF?
First of all, just pay for 545 monthly bus passes, it would be a better use of the money. Especially if they get them at half price for low income people, because they could get 1,090 monthly bus passes. A much, much, much more efficient and useful service for homeless persons. See below for a list of other ideas off the top of my head!
HOMELESS DAY SERVICES
Many individuals in Dane County face homelessness. In Madison alone, 3,382 individuals spent at least one night in a shelter in 2012. Some do not use shelters; a point in time survey this July found 156 individuals were unsheltered. According to news reports, the number of homeless people — sheltered and unsheltered — rose to 831 in 2013 from 736 last year.
The need for reliable shelter throughout the daytime hours becomes even more critical in the winter months. Dane County has strived to meet the needs of the homeless population over the past two winters by establishing temporary day shelters. Efforts to purchase a building to house a permanent day center continue, but have been unsuccessful to date. With colder weather weeks away, Dane County would like to enhance and increase some of the existing services to better assist the homeless with their daily needs.
Service enhancements would include:
1. Bethel Lutheran Church, located a block from the Capitol Square, currently provides day services for 50 to 60 individuals and operates three days each week. The church is willing to enter into a 12 month contract with the county for $30,000 to hire a staff person and be open five days a week throughout the year. Bethel will not only provide clients with a warm place to congregate throughout the day, but will also provide support services such as helping participants to find employment or housing by filling out applications and writing résumés. Additional services include: applications for eye glasses, medical assistance through local professionals, GED information, extra clothing, hot coffee, and snacks. Bethel can serve an estimated 60 to 80 individuals each day, thereby playing a significant role in addressing day service needs.
2. The newly formed agency, Shine608, has responded to a City of Madison request for proposal for the Emerging Opportunity Program. As part of this proposal, Shine 608 has indicated that funding of $8,000 from Dane County would help them to provide case management throughout the winter, focusing on individuals who congregate at the Madison Public Library. Shine608 will target homeless adults in the community who are not working with other homeless services providers. Services provided include, but are not limited to: help obtaining identification, completing and submitting applications for mainstream benefits (ex: SSI, Food Share), obtain housing, getting connected to Veterans’ services, and/or re-connecting with family members/support systems. They anticipate providing 1:1 case management services for at least 60 individuals throughout our program period of November 1, 2013 until March 31, 2014. As part of the Shine608 initiative, participants would be able to earn bus passes for transportation.
3. To increase Porchlight’s existing transportation services, Dane County will provide a van and supplement funding for the agency for this purpose. A van will increase the availability of transportation for homeless persons to get to and from the service providers available to them, including Bethel Lutheran, Men’s Shelter, Hospitality House, Porchlight, Luke House, The Salvation Army, food pantries, St. Vincent DePaul, Dane County/Job Center, libraries, Safe Haven, Occupy Madison, Journey Mental Health Center, Bubbles Program, Single Women’s Shelter, and the Tenant Resource Center. The Dane County Department of Human Services has a 15-person van that will no longer be needed by the Neighborhood Intervention Program. The county would transfer the title of the van to Porchlight, which would be responsible for providing transportation services at the cost of $22,000 for the winter (November 1, 2013 to March 31, 20014).
The enhanced services can be funded from an allocation for this purpose in the Department of Human Services 2013 budget, as well as by reallocating funds from the Office of the County Board audit line to the Department of Human Services.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that $30,000 from COBOARD 30390 be transferred to the Department of Human Service to cover the cost of the contract with Shine608 for case management services and the cost of the contract with Porchlight for transportation services.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following new line item be created:
Bethel Day Services EAHMLBLS EMSHAA $30,000
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any requirements under Chapter 25 of the Dane County Code of Ordinances for competitive solicitation for these services is waived, and any unspent funds (both revenue and expenses) from 2013, in the amount not to exceed $60,000, be carried forward for expenditure in 2014.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Dane County Department of Human Services transfer the title of a 15-seat van to Porchlight for the purpose of transporting homeless individuals to and from specified destinations .
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the contracts listed below be awarded as follows:
DHS fund # Contract Amount
Bethel Lutheran $30,000
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County Executive and County Clerk are authorized and directed to sign these contracts.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Department of Human Services continue its work to identify a permanent site for day services.
Better uses of $30,000 than a van ride around town:
- 545 monthly bus passes or 1090 low income, disabled or senior monthly bus passes.
- Rent space for lockers or day storage program downtown.
- Pay someone to keep showers open for people more often
- Instead of dropping people off at the Bubbles program, help pay for it since it costs over $18,000 a year and is supposed to be winding down if there is a comprehensive permanent day center
- Instead of dropping people off at TRC, pay us to help people find housing one on one.
- Rent a warming center for the winter. ($60,000 plus city money for Shine 608 should be enough money)
- Pay someone to be at the men’s shelter to help people find housing.
- Pay someone to be outside men’s shelter and Salvation Army to help problem solve when someone gets turned away from shelter (over 2,000 people a year)
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