GLENWOOD CITY, WI — When homelessness strikes, it is costly to everyone – to the community for health and social services, to the government and volunteer network supporting shelters, and especially to the well-being of homeless children and families. In 2014 West CAP received 209 requests for homeless assistance from Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties, accounting for 35% of our total requests for homeless assistance.
There were 58 requests for rent assistance. Overall, the families requesting assistance from West CAP in the calendar year 2014 were very poor. 61% (3,002 families) were at or below 100% of the federal poverty level. Another 24% were between 101% and 150% of poverty. Only 783 families – 16% – were above 150% of poverty. Of the families requesting assistance, 515 were homeless and 2,653 were renters.
Since 1991, West CAP Homeless Prevention Programs have alleviated or prevented homelessness for thousands of families in Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. Our program provides eviction prevention and a continuum of programs for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. All families receive one-on-one housing counseling that includes budget planning for housing stability.
West CAP’s Homeless Prevention Program has always received more requests for assistance than there has been funding to serve. Due to the ongoing economic crisis, more families are having trouble making home or utility payments. The funding that West CAP receives from the United Way St. Croix Valley is critical to the assistance of low-income individuals and families that are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Polk, St. Croix, and Pierce counties.
West CAP, a 501c3 non-profit established in 1965, was one of the first community action agencies in the United States. Located in Glenwood City, Wisconsin, West CAP works to promote the sustainability of low-income families and communities in west central Wisconsin. For more information on the Homeless Prevention Program or other West CAP programs, please call 1-715-265-4271 or go to www.westcap.org.