County to open new office to help families, community on southwest side

MADISON, Wis. - A new Joining Forces for Families office is expected to open to strengthen community-based services, help families address their basic needs and maintain healthy neighborhoods and communities on Madison’s southwest side, according to a release.

The new location at the Elver Park Neighborhood Center, housed under the Wisconsin Youth Company on McKenna Boulevard, will serve as a resource tool for the Morraine View Drive neighborhood, officials said.

A contract for the new lease is expected to be approved by the Dane County Board Thursday night, according to the release.

“Joining Forces for Families has existed in Dane County for nearly 25 years and provides critical resources by molding itself to best fit the needs of local neighborhoods,” County Executive Joe Parisi said in the release. “Improving JFF’s presence on Madison’s southwest side will allow more families to get the services they need while strengthening the community to which they belong.”

The JFF team will be comprised of local nonprofit organizations, neighborhood police officers, school social workers, representatives from faith-based organizations and a school family and community engagement specialist, officials said.

The office will offer mentor and reading programs, afterschool activities, community get-togethers, parenting classes and support groups in neighborhoods, according to the release.

Officials said the JFF team can also respond to basic requests for food, clothing, shelter, housing and transportation, or more comprehensive needs like child and family matters, mental health or alcohol and drug issues.

The team used to be based in Middleton, but they agreed to split their time between the Middleton office and the new location following growing requests to serve Middleton Cross Plains Area School District families living on Madison’s southwest side, according to the release.

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