Western Dairyland receives $40,000 grant

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 4:44 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - For several years, ending homelessness has been a mission of community action agency, Western Dairyland.

That mission is supported by a life-changing program.

“For a number of years now, Western Dairyland has operated a permanent supportive housing program, it’s also known as Housing First,” says Western Dairyland Communications Coordinator Dale Karls.

Housing first helps find apartments for people struggling with homelessness.

More people will soon have a place to call home thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

The money will be used to make repairs to two Housing First units.

“We could not repair these units with the funding that is normally in the program,” Karls says. “The funds we use to run the program allow us to pay the rent, pay the utilities.”

Jeanne Semb with Western Dairyland works with those considered chronically homeless on a daily basis.

“They’ve been homeless, some of them for many years,” she says. “They’ve been on the streets, they’ve been living in campgrounds, they’ve not been housed for a long time.”

She knows just how much $40,000 means to the people they help.

“Once they get their service needs met and once they get the medical attention that they need, they’re able to take over their lease and lead a very normal life.”

She says the support from the community has been overwhelming and is grateful to the landlords willing to work with her clients to give them a chance at a normal life.

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