Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Community Partnership Receives Major Grant to Address Housing Issues, Combat Homelessness

February 22, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive

Dane County JFF Site to Host New ‘Southwest Housing Partnership’ Thanks to Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

A new community partnership to enhance housing assistance, and work to address the root causes of homelessness in five neighborhoods on Madison’s Southwest side will be created and housed at a Dane County Joining Forces for Families site through a new two-year, $130,000 grant from a member of the local faith community, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


The grant was awarded by the Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ’s Mission Gift Committee with funds raised through a recent capital campaign.  The new community effort, dubbed the ‘Southwest Housing Partnership’ includes Common Wealth Development, Dane County’s Joining Forces for Families (JFF) and Public Health Madison – Dane County.


Parisi thanked Orchard Ridge UCC for their generosity and leadership.  “An issue as far-reaching as homelessness requires a community solution to combat it,” said Parisi.  “This new grant and partnership holds tremendous promise for enhancing existing services and to address housing issues and the root causes of homelessness in neighborhoods in need.”


"This effort builds on our long time commitment as a congregation devoted to serving those in need wherever possible," said Winton Boyd, Orchard Ridge UCC Pastor. "We are thrilled to have three experienced partners in this project, believing that collaboration is the key to finding solutions and creating opportunities for the issues that face us all."

The Southwest Housing Partnership will bring together service providers, faith-based communities, and residents to facilitate easier access to housing assistance through the integration of critical job search resources that will provide long-term stability for families struggling with homelessness. 


The partnership will also work to address the root causes of homelessness, engaging residents in chosen homelessness target areas, service providers, area churches, landlords, and tenants in an effort to identify barriers to stable housing and solutions to overcome them.


The Partnership’s work will focus on five neighborhoods in Southwest Madison, chosen because of their dense pockets of poverty and high percentage of residents who are periodically or chronically homeless – Greentree, Meadowood, Orchard Ridge, Park Ridge, and Prairie Hills.  Grant funder ORUCC is located in the Orchard Ridge neighborhood.


The Southwest Housing Partnership will be located at Dane County’s Joining Forces for Families office at Russett Road in Madison.  JFF is a well-established and highly successful preventative program that helps deliver services to families, with a majority those families served living in Southwest Madison.  Last year, 20% of JFF’s contacts with families were regarding homelessness or homelessness prevention. 


“Common Wealth Development is excited to partner with ORUCC, Joining Forces for Families and Public Health Madison and Dane County in this innovative initiative to address housing issues in Southwest Madison,” said  Marianne Morton, Executive Director, Common Wealth Development, Inc.  “We truly appreciate ORUCC’s vision and generosity.  Together, in partnership, we can address immediate housing needs while strengthening the community’s resources.” 

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