Advocates for affordable housing rallied in Madison on Monday to draw attention to and propose solutions for the growing problem of homelessness in Wisconsin’s capital city. Linda Ketchhum, Executive Director of Madison Area Urban Ministry, said more families and children are being caught in the difficult challenge of finding affordable housing. “This isn’t political rhetoric,” said Ketchum. “This is just speaking truth to power. This is just getting righteously indignant about the conditions in our community and saying “enough is enough and we need to do something.'”
Greta Hansen is Executive Director of the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin. “Each year we get about 15,000 calls for assistance,” Hansen said. “This year, up until this point, we’ve had over twelve thousand calls.” The most visible homeless population is downtown, where the city has made efforts to crack down, as noted by Nathaniel Don Abrams, Jr. of Operation Welcome Home. “The police, with their orders of ticketing and arresting homeless for sleeping on park benches when they have no place else to go, this is absurd, this is really absurd,” said Abrams. The Affordable Housing Action Alliance has formulated a multi- point “People’s Affordable Housing Vision,” and is seeking public support through a petition drive and on Facebook.