Wausau Plan Commission approves first step in homelessness initiative
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau Plan Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an institutional residential living arrangement at 620 McClellan Street. The plan is a partnered project through North Central Health Care and the Wausau Police Department, with some financial support from BA and Esther Greenheck Foundation.
The house will be used for a temporary living area and for treatment to help fight homelessness in Wausau. On Tuesday the commission seemed to be fully on board.
“Today was simply input in hopefully our approval to operate this setting for our community and the initial responses were good and we are one step further down the line,” NCHC CEO Michael Loy said.
The Wausau Police Department has spent the past year reaching out to the homeless population. Building trust and creating relationships.
“By resolving it, it means having contact with these individuals and finding out what resources we have in our community that would benefit them so they can get out of homelessness,” Officer Eric Lemirand added.
Cases of homelessness often involve the presence of mental health issues or drug use. North Central Health Care says they are hoping to help with those problems.
“Our job is to engage them in treatment to overcome barriers of illness or their addiction that keeps them from that stable outcome,” Loy explained.
Both parties say giving people a place to live is key to finding them a place in the community.
“Housing is the first step. For people to be in a stable housing environment. For people to have food, water, and hopefully employment,” Loy stated.
“Because everybody deserves to have a place and have a home, to have a community. We want them to be apart of ours,” Lemirand added.
The commission will discuss and vote on the proposal one more time on December 15.
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