Helping to resettle displaced residents
Residents were facing homelessness, frantic with worry about where they would live, when the City of Milwaukee foreclosed on their mobile home park and took the additional step of forcing residents to vacate the property, deeming their trailers at Evergreen Court near 27th and Howard to be unlivable.
Community Advocates’ Housing Advocates wasted no time in reaching out to each displaced resident prior to their order to vacate taking effect on February 4th. The information and referrals we provide are designed to prevent homelessness and link individuals with the resources they need to find new housing and additional help.
While the evictions at Evergreen Court have garnered substantial local media attention, the response by Community Advocates is a regular feature of our Housing Department’s Placard Program. When the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services condemns or placards a building for violations, it triggers a referral for a Community Advocates Housing Advocate to connect with the tenants. The Housing Advocate conducts an assessment of the family’s needs and provides a list of housing options, as well as providing any other referrals or assistance the family may need.
While evictions are always hard on residents, Community Advocates’ services turn what could have been an entry into homelessness into an opportunity to connect a family with safer housing, additional community resources, and homelessness prevention. Individuals and families are also informed about eligibility for Community Advocates services such as help with security deposits, which can often be a barrier when seeking new housing.
Preventing a family from becoming homeless is highly cost-effective to society at large. Our Housing Department’s array of practical “tools” include assistance paying rent, assistance setting up a security deposit, assistance finding options for affordable rental units and landlords, assistance in negotiating with landlords, assistance in getting rental repairs completed, and tenant training which offers key lessons in how to avoid eviction and mitigate problematic housing situations that can at times lead to homelessness.