With its relatively low unemployment rate, people don’t tend to think of Madison as a place you would find homeless people. However nearly 4,000 Madison residents experience homelessness each year.
Homelessness stems from extreme poverty combined with lack of affordable housing. Other factors make people more vulnerable to homelessness, but these are its main causes. Poverty and lack of affordable housing: two growing problems in this country, right? In fact in no state does a full-time job at minimum wage pay for a one bedroom apartment at fair market rent. This slide gives you an idea of the situation locally. If you assume that housing is affordable when you pay 30% or less of your income on it, than as this chart shows nearly 40% of the renting population in Dane County does not earn enough to afford a one bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
THESE ARE REQUESTS FOR SHELTER PREPARED BY CDBG -- THE STATISTICS ARE SIMILAR TO THE UNITED WAY, INDICATORS OF COMMUNITY WELL-BEING AND ARE FROM CDBG ALTHOUGH MAY NOT EXACTLY EQUAL TO CDBG STATISTICS SOURCE: CDBG SHELTER STATISTICS – P. 2 UNDER TOTAL SHELTER AND P. 3 OF SUE’S REPORT DATED 2/15/02
The good news is that the great majority of people that experience homelessness are only in that state for a short time. Something has knocked their life off track (a divorce, a costly medical emergency, domestic abuse) and they just need some time to put resources together to get back on track. However roughly 15 percent of homeless people are chronically homeless, meaning that they are continuously homeless for one year or more, or four or more episodes in three years. These folks often have issues that are harder to overcome, the main ones being mental illness, drug addiction or both.
So where do you go if you’re homeless in Madison? In terms of emergency shelter, homeless families are served by the Salvation Army, YWCA and the Road Home (network of faith communities); single women at the YWCA, Salvation Army’s single women shelter, and single men are served at Porchlight’s Drop-In Shelter.
The emergency shelter at Grace Church was opened in 1985, after a homeless man died from exposure from staying outside on a cold winter night. Since then, the shelter has expanded to include two overflow shelters, one at St. John’s and the other at First United Methodist. About 1,500 men make use of these shelters each year.
There is a 60 night limit for Drop-In Shelter use per person, per year. A cold weather exemption goes into effect for nights that are 20 degrees or less, with wind chill. Anyone who is clearly under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will not be allowed into the shelter. Other than that, no one is ever turned away. They find the room.
THESE ARE REQUESTS FOR SHELTER PREPARED BY CDBG -- THE STATISTICS ARE SIMILAR TO THE UNITED WAY, INDICATORS OF COMMUNITY WELL-BEING AND ARE FROM CDBG ALTHOUGH MAY NOT EXACTLY EQUAL TO CDBG STATISTICS SOURCE: CDBG SHELTER STATISTICS & UNITED WAY OF DANE COUNTY INDICATORS OF COMMUNITY WELL-BEING PAGE 3.
During the day, when the shelter is closed, homeless and low income folks can go to Hospitality House. This is a daytime resource center with services that include employment and housing counseling, assistance in obtaining employment (e.g. identifications and work clothes), telephone and mail services, and medical and legal assistance. Hospitality House serves over 7,000 men, women and children a year. It is located at 1490 Martin St. A shuttle bus runs every morning to Hospitality House from the Salvation Army, YWCA and the Drop-In Shelter.
SOURCE: HOSPITALITY HOUSE STATISTICS FILED WITH COUNTY BY LISA FOR AUGUST, 1999 NOTE BETWEEN 60 AND 70 % OF THE PERSONS STAYING AT THE SHELTER ARE EMPLOYED
Porchlight's eviction prevention program, DIGS (Dwelling Intervention Grants & Sustenance) provides assistance designed to prevent homelessness in the wake of a short-term financial emergency for a household. Households at risk of losing their housing and becoming homeless or households that are homeless are connected to the DIGS program, often through referrals from other social service agencies. The DIGS Program Coordinator makes an assessment of the household's specific needs, makes referrals to other programs and services, and determines the need for direct financial assistance. Porchlight partners with faith communities and other organizations to provide the financial assistance necessary for the household to retain housing. Almost always, the household is required to contribute as well. This program has a very high success rate.
A lot of people, when they hear Porchlight, think of the shelter. For us though, the shelter is a necessary emergency measure, but not the solution to homelessness. Our goal is to get people off the streets, out of the shelters and into stable housing. And we are actually the largest non-profit supplier of low-cost housing in Dane County, with over 230 units of housing at 21 Madison-area locations for families and individuals on a transitional or permanent basis, through an array of housing programs designed to address specific client needs. This map shows the “scattered site” approach we take to developing our housing. Units are spread throughout the City.
One of the things that sets Porchlight apart from other housing programs is that every person in Porchlight housing has access to case management services. Each one, according to need, can get regular assistance with things like budgeting, apartment maintenance, and employment training skills. The whole idea being to help them develop the skills to maintain their housing.
Anotheri thing that’s unique about Porchlight housing is that we own our properties. This has a couple of advantages. One is that a client is working with the same organization all the way through from the housin g application process, with case management, and with maintenance when repairs are needed ~ there’s no 3 rd party land lord to contend with. Another benefit is that we can make upgrades to improve efficiency and durability. This building over on Pheasant Ridge Trail we actually built as housing for people with disabilities. It features many universal design elements as well as energy savings features.
There is one property we don’t own currently and it houses a vital program called Safe Haven. Safe Haven is a shelter for homeless men and women who suffer from serious mental illness. It also acts as a portal of entry to the community service system and offers basic services as well as a free psychiatric clinic. It has semi-private rooms, offers bathing and laundry facilities, three meals a day, and an atmosphere of support for this very vulnerable segment of the homeless population. About 60 people are sheltered at Safe Haven each year, and roughly 200 receive drop-in services.
Estimates vary, but somewhere around 40-50 percent of homeless adults have a serious mental illness. It’s a big piece of the homelessness puzzle, so expanding housing for this population is really the critical next step in reducing homelessness in the community. Porchlight has been engaged in the last year in a capital campaign we call Madison Cares, that has as a goal building a new Safe Haven, and along side it a building with 24 units of permanent housing for folks that have stabilized and are ready to move on from Safe Haven. The new facilities will be built on land donated by the City on Nakoosa Trail, by the Cub Foods off Hwy 51. They will both benefit from round the clock supervision and support services. I’m glad to report that we are within striking distance of our goal, with $3.2 of the $3.6 million needed to construct these buildings. We hope to break ground in the summer.
FUS:Presentation on Homelessness in Madison by Porchlight, Inc.
Homelessness in Madison
Why Housing is not Affordable in Dane County NUMBER OF BEDROOMS RENTS AT FAIR MARKET VALUE INCOME AVAILABLE FOR RENT AT VARIOUS MONTHLY INCOME LEVELS PERCENT OF RENTER POPULATION AT OR BELOW IDENTIFIED HOURLY WAGE SOURCE: 2008-09DATA FROM HUD. MEDIAN INCOME WITHOUT REGARD TO FAMILY SIZE.
Shelters in Madison <ul><li>Families: The Salvation Army, the YWCA, the Road Home, and the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) Shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Single women: Salvation Army’s Single Women’s Shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Single men: Porchlight’s Drop-In Shelter </li></ul>
Drop-In Shelter <ul><li>Housed at Grace Episcopal Church </li></ul><ul><li>100 beds, plus 50 at overflow shelters at St. John’s Lutheran and First United Methodist </li></ul><ul><li>Serves roughly 1,500 guests each year for nearly 32,000 shelter nights </li></ul>
<ul><li>50 organizations and over 1,700 volunteers work together to provide shelter guests two hot meals per day, 365 days each year </li></ul><ul><li>Counseling services, laundry and bathing facilities are available </li></ul>
DROP-IN SHELTER USAGE: 1992-2010 TOTAL NUMBER OF NIGHTS OF SHELTER
Hospitality House <ul><li>Employment and housing counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Assistance in obtaining employment (identifications, work clothes, writing resumes, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Medical and legal assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone and mail service </li></ul><ul><li>Bus tickets </li></ul>
2010 HOSPITALITY HOUSE SERVICES <ul><li>PERSONS SERVED </li></ul><ul><li>Client contacts: 19,140 </li></ul><ul><li>New clients served: 6,641 </li></ul><ul><li>Chronically mentally ill served: 767 </li></ul><ul><li>1,024 out of 1,892 counseled found or retained housing </li></ul><ul><li>426 out of 1,434 counseled found jobs </li></ul><ul><li>SERVICES </li></ul><ul><li>Medical/dental: 154 </li></ul><ul><li>Bus tickets: 1,835 </li></ul><ul><li>IDs for work: 274 </li></ul><ul><li>Other emergency: 278 </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy: 1,017 </li></ul><ul><li>Legal: 30 </li></ul>
DIGS Dwelling Intervention Grants and Sustenance <ul><li>DIGS provides assistance designed to prevent homelessness in the wake of a short-term financial emergency for a household. </li></ul><ul><li>1,222 households received financial assistance -- $263 average </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized matching resources with agencies and faith communities </li></ul><ul><li>Retention rates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80% AT 6 MONTHS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>74% AT 12 MONTHS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>70% AT 18 MONTHS </li></ul></ul>
Case Management <ul><li>All Porchlight residents have access to case management services. They can receive assistance with things like budgeting, apartment maintenance, employment skills, and other supports designed to keep them in stable housing. </li></ul>
Safe Haven <ul><li>Shelter for homeless men and women who suffer from serious mental illness </li></ul><ul><li>“ Portal of entry” to community services system </li></ul><ul><li>Basic services as well as a free psychiatric clinic </li></ul><ul><li>Roughly 60 individuals sheltered each year, and 200 receiving drop-in services </li></ul>
Madison Cares <ul><li>A $3.6 million capital campaign to build a new Safe Haven along with 24 units of permanent housing for people with mental illness. </li></ul>