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Fwd: Save The Housing Help Desk!

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  • Brenda Konkel
    Please see urgent message below. If you can write an email or letter of support, please cc: brendakonkel@gmail.com ... From: Anders Zanichkowsky
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2013
      Please see urgent message below.  If you can write an email or letter of support, please cc: brendakonkel@...

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Anders Zanichkowsky <anderstrc@...>
      Date: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 5:25 PM
      Subject: Save The Housing Help Desk!

      Dear friends and colleagues,

      I'm writing with serious news and an urgent request regarding funding for the Tenant Resource Center's Housing Help Desk. We have just learned that Director of Dane County Human Services Lynn Green has proposed a budget that would eliminate all funding for the Housing Help Desk in 2014. This $90K contract has not been increased since 1998 and it constitutes our entire budget for this office, where we help 4,800+ clients each year to find and maintain shelter and housing. Many of you also depend on the resources we provide through the Housing Help Desk, which include:

      - A weekly Housing Vacancy List, the Flexible Landlord List, three Emergency/Transitional Housing Lists, Less-Expensive Motel List, Subsidized Housing Lists, and our Eviction Prevention & Security Deposit Assistance brochure.

      - $5,000 in eviction prevention funds.

      - Crucial funding for the Housing Mediation Service which successfully prevents around 400 evictions every year.

      - A "one-stop-shop" for clients to get subsidized housing applications and assistance in applying for both private and subsidized housing from highly trained Housing Resources Specialists.

      Located in the Dane County Job Center and open for phone, e-mail, and walk-in assistance, the Housing Help Desk has been a known and trusted resource for 15 years. We know it's not enough to just give someone a phone or a computer! So many people need one or two brief appointments with us for help navigating the public housing system or writing letters about bad credit or a criminal conviction. They also need to know how to protect themselves from landlords who don't know (or don't follow) the laws -- for example, by learning how to sue for a wrongfully withheld security deposit so they have money to move into a new unit.

      In the bigger picture, the Housing Help Desk directs lower-needs clients away from over-burdened case management programs. For example, many of our clients just need a place they can drop by to get updated lists on housing vacancies or check in about next steps on a rental issue. The Housing Help Desk also supports case management programs with heavily-utilized resource lists, in our offices and on our website. 

      With a local vacancy rate of 2% and a doubled increase in requests for emergency shelter from 2011 to 2012, our clients cannot afford to lose this office! There is no other agency in Dane County that can replace the unique, high-volume, and high-quality resources the Housing Help Desk provides to thousands of clients and agency partners each year. It is possible that if we lose this funding, TRC's other programs will be in jeopardy.

      To prevent that from happening, Dane County needs to hear from you! There are several ways to show your support and need for the Housing Help Desk services:

      1. Write to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi (parisi@...) and the Dane County Board of Supervisors: county_board_recipients@.... Formal letters from agencies will be especially helpful.

      2. Speak at the Budget Hearing on Tuesday, September 3 at 6:00 PM at the Alliant Energy Center.

      3. Speak at the Homeless Issues Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 27 at 6:30 PM in Room 354 in the City-County Building.

      Thank you in advance for your support for our clients!

      Anders Zanichkowsky
      Program Director
      Tenant Resource Center
      1202 Williamson Street Suite 102
      Madison, WI 53703
      (608) 257-0143

      We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." - Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King.

      If life were a thing money could buy, the rich would live and poor would die. - Widespread Panic (Arleen)

      Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss

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