Editorial: Volunteers Put Housing First

United Way of Dane County adds to plan to end homelessness.
Editorial: Volunteers Put Housing First

VOLUNTEERS PUT HOUSING FIRST

06/21/12

Interestingly, putting housing first as a strategy to end homelessness isn’t as simple as it sounds. It requires moving beyond some traditional ideas about shelters and crisis intervention to stable housing and related support resources. United Way of Dane County has adopted this strategy and they’re seeing some success. But like all similar components of United Way’s Agenda for Change, Housing First will be that much more successful with strong volunteer contributions and we saw evidence of that this week.

Thursday, teams of volunteers from Alliant Energy, University of Phoenix and QBE competed to do the best makeover of a Housing First apartment at Northpointe Apartments. We don’t know who won. They all won as far as we’re concerned. But makeover included the one-stop success centers for families moving into apartments, making the big winner a community that is coming together more completely around a plan to get folks into housing and keep them there.