Ashland County has a new housing proposition to help those who are experiencing homelessness

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The lack of affordable housing and sometimes the ups and downs of a person’s life can lead anyone to homelessness.

The City of Ashland, Wisconsin, shared information with community members on Tuesday night about a new housing opportunity to help those trying to get back on their feet while experiencing homelessness. The city has an emergency shelter that holds up to 21 households at a time.

“We have a number of folks that are homeless or that meet the definition and that’s part of why the emergency shelter opened up and why we’re looking at this transitional piece. In addition, that would work in conjunction with the emergency shelter. So when folks come into the emergency shelter and then they’re looking to transition. They’re not quite ready to get back on their feet and into their own place; this would help fill that gap,” said Steven Wiley, the Planning and Development Director for The City of Ashland.

The city is now trying to propose an option of creating a transitional housing program to continue to help those who are on the path working to find housing opportunities. The housing will hold up to 11 families and have a two-year transitional stay.

“There is sometimes a predisposition that people maybe have in their mind that someone may be homeless by choice or because of decisions that they made. I think it’s important to acknowledge that everybody’s story is different. Everybody has their own barriers, and being able to have a time where you can relax and work on some of your goals to make you become self-sufficient in the future. I think everybody deserves an opportunity,” CEO of Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency Millie Rounsville shared.

This new proposed housing will be able to address that population of homeless people and families in several counties in northwestern Wisconsin, as Wiley explained.

“This will be very important and beneficial for addressing some of the homelessness in the community and in the region. We have some folks that otherwise, might not have places to stay at this point.”
The transitional housing will represent all five rural counties in the Northwest area including Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Price, and Douglas.