JONAH receives grant for "Rising From Poverty" program

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- More people in the area will soon have the opportunity to institute change when it comes to affordable housing.

Joining Our Neighbors Advancing Hope, or JONAH, received a $75,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation to start a new program called “Rising From Poverty”.

Organizers say the grant will provide under-represented groups with training to help develop policies for change.

Jonah has partnered with Eau Claire EXPO, which helps those recently released from the justice system.

Their efforts will include finding people who are facing challenges when it comes to finding affordable housing, which includes those recently released from jail and low income families.

Lynn Buske works for JONAH and says the new program is taking a new approach by going to the source when thinking of ways lawmakers can help.

"JONAH believes with all of our heart that the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution,”Buske said. “That means that those who have experienced something know what the process is like, so those that have a barrier to housing understand what those barriers are."

Buske also says the program will partner with healthcare professionals because they believe a lack of housing has a domino effect on a person's health.

The grant is scheduled to run for 18 months, a timeframe Buske says is plenty of time to institute change.