An initiative to help two generations by providing a range of services for homeless single parents with young children.
The current housing crisis has been very difficult for far too many families in Rock County. It has been especially difficult and traumatic for single parents with young children. The trauma and lost opportunities associated with poverty and homelessness are especially detrimental to the cognitive and emotional development of young children. These developmental “insults” can last a lifetime.
We also know that the vast majority of parents want to be a productive part of the workforce and that many are stymied by the lack access to adequate and affordable childcare for their children, reliable transportation, and stable employment. Indeed, how can one keep employment if at the very same time, one lacks affordable childcare and reliable transportation? To empower these families to thrive and contribute to the local economy, we need to provide support to address successfully the challenges of accessing and maintaining housing, childcare, transportation, and employment.
The Next Step Transitional Living Project is the missing link between emergency short term shelter and independent housing. Our plan is for a twenty-unit apartment building with an attached day care facility. Participants will have access to the resources of the facility while also accessing a variety of strategic services such as case management, advocacy, child and family counseling, support promoting early childhood cognitive development, financial education, and access to tangible resources such as not only food and clothing but also assistance with acquiring those resources that make independent living possible.
Recently, more than three quarters of the Rock County Board of Supervisors voted to “set aside” $3,000,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the Next Step project. We are in discussions with the City of Beloit regarding similar funding opportunities. Joe Stadelman (Angus-Young) is advising us with site location issues as well as design features. We are also actively pursuing additional funding partners to address service delivery and operational costs.
How you can help?
We recognize that there are far too many important needs that could be addressed by ARPA funds -- we do not envy those responsible for making the decisions on how to distribute these scarce resources. We believe, however, that this project is worthy of support as it is not only consistent with the intentions of the Rescue Plan but it is also a unique strategy for responding to multiple problems that intersect: homelessness, poverty, child trauma, and missed opportunities to help build “better brains” for the children. Please share your support for this project with members of the Beloit City Council as well as members of the County Board of Supervisors.
For more information regarding this project and on how you can help, please contact John Pfleiderer (Executive Director) at email@example.com.
Thank you for caring.