A Response to Homelessness in Rock County
“History should judge us by the differences we choose to make in the lives of especially vulnerable children.” Anonymous
There is no doubt that those most negatively affected by the current housing shortage are single parent families with few resources and young children. Research shows that a child’s exposure to traumatic events (such as homelessness) as well as lost opportunities for early learning, place these children at significant disadvantages for the rest of their lives. Because these negative outcomes are so significant, we have chosen to develop a “Next Step transitional living program” for those especially vulnerable families. Helping them may very well be the best strategy we have available for breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty (and quite possibly impact future levels of community violence.)
Our plan is to develop of a twenty-unit apartment building
that has an attached day care facility for both residents and for the community. Why include day care? There is a significant shortage of affordable and high-quality childcare in Beloit. This scarcity makes it very difficult for many families – especially single parent families -- to enter and stay in the workforce successfully. . We also will have staff offices on site to provide a variety of supportive services.
Families will be allowed to live in these units
for as long as they are making a committed effort to become independent. We will provide various services such as case management, financial education, mental health counseling, and assistance finding affordable housing.
We’re calling this project the “Next Step:”
it will be a bridge between emergency short-term housing and housing independence and self-sufficiency. It is an opportunity to change for the better the trajectory of the lives of the children.
Recently, more than 2/3 of the Rock County Board of Supervisors voted to set aside $3,000,000 for the project. We are currently seeking City of Beloit ARPA funding to help meet the projected construction costs.
How can you help?
Please encourage your Beloit City Counselor to support ARPA funding for the Next Step. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more ways to move this project forward. Thank you for caring.