As rates of homelessness rise, United Way helps West CAP address needs
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
GLENWOOD CITY — Homelessness continues to increase in western Wisconsin. According to the 2014 State of Homelessness in Wisconsin (Institute for Community Alliances 2015), the West CAP service area has a rate of homelessness of 48 per 10,000 people. This translates to approximately 1,472 people experiencing homelessness every year, 818 of whom live in Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties. Nationally, the rate of homelessness in rural areas is 14 per 10,000 people.
The main reasons for homelessness are similar for rural and urban areas: lack of affordable housing and inadequate income. However, one factor has a much larger impact in rural areas than in urban areas – access to services. With state and federal funding often directed to urban areas, rural areas lack the ability to provide comprehensive services to quickly address the needs of people experiencing homelessness. West CAP is fortunate to receive funding from St. Croix Valley United Way to assist in addressing these needs.
West CAP focuses on helping individuals and families experiencing homelessness find housing, pay for housing, and stay in housing. Case managers help people identify and overcome potential barriers to obtaining housing with a goal of getting people housed within 30 days or less. West CAP assists with security deposit and moving expenses, as well as paying a rent subsidy while individuals and families are participating in one of our programs. Case managers help people stay housed by connecting them to community resources and supports, as well as helping to resolve issues that may threaten housing stability, including issues with landlords.
West CAP’s Homeless Prevention Program has always received more requests for assistance than there has been funding to serve. Since January 1, 2015, the West CAP office has received over 200 requests for housing assistance from St. Croix, Polk and Pierce County residents. Of those households, 156 were able to receive services to obtain or maintain safe, affordable housing. The funding that West CAP receives from the St. Croix Valley United Way enables us to house more individuals and families that are homeless 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.