During November, National Homelessness Awareness Month, take a moment to learn about the realities of homelessness. In our own community, roughly 750 Madison Schools – MMSD students currently experience homelessness.
- Homelessness: “a condition in which an individual or family lacks a fixed, regular, nighttime residence; resides in a public or private residence that is not designed or intended to be a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; lives in a supervised shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements; and/or is at imminent risk of losing their housing and has no subsequent residence identified or resources to obtain other permanent housing.”
- Unaccompanied youth / homeless families with children: have experienced a long term period without living independently in permanent housing, have experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves over such period, and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to employment.
Source: Cornell Law School
Madison, WI – The statewide kickoff event for Homelessness Awareness Month will be held at the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda on Nov. 1 at noon. This event is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend. Speakers will include state representatives addressing the concerns of homelessness in Wisconsin and individuals speaking about their lived experience of homelessness. This event is an opportunity to build much needed awareness of the homeless crisis in our state.
Local communities around the state may also be holding their own events in the month of November to mark Homelessness Awareness Month.
One of the speakers at the Nov. 1 statewide event will be state Rep. Patrick Snyder (Assembly District 85). According to Rep. Snyder, “Collaboration and coordination among government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups are crucial to ensure efficient delivery of services and resources to homeless individuals. Establishing interagency partnerships can help streamline processes and maximize the impact of available resources.”
Michael Basford, Director of the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness, is also scheduled to speak at the statewide kickoff event. “As we reflect in November on the issues of homelessness in our communities, we must recognize that homelessness affects too many people in Wisconsin. It is happening in every area of our state – whether urban, suburban, or rural. It is on all of us to provide help and resources for Wisconsinites experiencing homelessness and ensure that people who need it get access to safe, affordable housing,” said Basford, in preparation for the event.
The Nov. 1 statewide kickoff event will also feature a Ribbon Tree designed to showcase and measure the different types of homelessness experienced in Wisconsin. Works of art, of various media, created by artists depicting how they see, or have personally experienced homelessness, will be on display and available for purchase. Through these events we hope we can come together to find better solutions to address this growing issue of homelessness in our state and communities.