Housing First strategy is best way to address homelessness

Housing First strategy is best way to address homelessness

The Wisconsin Assembly did the right thing last week passing, on a bipartisan vote, Republican bills to address homelessness.

We expect similar bipartisan collaboration of Democratic State Representative Lisa Subeck’s proposed legislation to push the homelessness prevention effort faster and better.

Subeck’s proposals include tripling the amount of money Wisconsin spends on everything from housing grants to case management to eviction prevention. Hopes for success will likely take that and more.

But most important, the package contains the elements of “housing first,” a strategy that has proven effective in communities around the country, including here in Madison. It makes permanent housing and support services the first step in dealing with poverty, unemployment, health problems and other issues contributing to homelessness.

Democrats complained Republican bills didn’t go far enough. We urged them to support the bills and they reluctantly did. Now we expect Republicans to do their part to give their own efforts a real chance to succeed. Housing first is the way to go.