Walker signs homeless initiatives into law

Walker signs homeless initiatives into law

Gov. Scott Walker signed a package of legislation into law Monday that will create an Interagency Council on Homelessness dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness in the state.

Walker will chair the council, while secretaries of certain departments, the executive director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the state superintendent and a representative from each of the four Continuum of Care organizations that serve the state’s homeless will be council members.

The council must appoint a director to facilitate council activities and partner organizations, establish and review a statewide policy for ending homelessness and designate individuals from state agencies to implement the policy, according to the law.

Lawmakers are calling the law a “first step” in the battle to combat homelessness

“For the first time in our state’s history, we will have an institution, inscribed in law, whose sole purpose is to coordinate our approach to ending this devastating form of poverty,” said state Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steinke (R-Kaukauna).

“I cannot even imagine the innovations and collaborations that will be possible by bringing agency secretaries together on a regular basis to develop a comprehensive, strategic plan to end homelessness,” he added.