Homes for all
Community collaboration on multiple strategies is needed to achieve the long-term goal of Homes for All. Our church actively collaborates with partners in several ways:
Working with partners, we created Heart Room, an innovative pilot program to give families with young children a real opportunity to achieve housing stability long-term. Heart Room provides families with generous rental subsidies for up to three years, along with other services and support from partner agencies and ORUCC volunteers. The pilot is showing real success. Work has begun on planning for expansion.
Emergency Housing Assistance
For years, ORUCC has provided smaller one-time grants of Emergency Housing Assistance to keep individuals and families in housing, especially in southwest neighborhoods near the church. We’re part of Keeping Neighbors Connected (KNC), an ecumenical neighborhood partnership including ORUCC, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, with social workers from Joining Forces for Families (JFF) and neighborhood schools.
Early in the pandemic, ORUCC raised $25,000 for an Emergency Housing Assistance Fund. The Fund was allocated partly through KNC for eviction-prevention grants, and partly through JFF in collaboration with Early Childhood Initiative and Common Wealth caseworkers in order to meet other needs. ORUCC funds helped families displaced due to non-renewals of leases (more common due to eviction moratoria during the pandemic) and other needs not well-met by other available funding; for example, helping undocumented immigrant families.
Southwest Madison Action Coalition (SMAC)
The Southwest Madison Action Coalition (SMAC) Housing Subgroup is a coalition comprised of representatives from KNC, neighborhood housing advocates, Joining Forces for Families, Common Wealth Development, and Centro Hispano of Dane Co. SMAC is an advocacy group focused on stable, affordable housing in the Southwest Madison neighborhood, with the goal of influencing city leaders to increase affordable, quality housing options and housing stability in the neighborhood.
Housing Equity and Justice
Our church is working to emphasize housing equity and justice in other ways as well. We’ve joined with Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Just Dane, the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, the Nehemiah Center, Urban Triage, and other community partners that advocate for a range of solutions to inequities affecting marginalized populations. We are finding ways to take faithful action for housing justice through compassion offerings and church member participation in advocacy and allyship activities.
For more information contact Helene Nelson