Housing First

Children who come from homelessness face extraordinary educational and health challenges. By focusing on Housing First, case management, landlord/tenant connections and financial counseling and access to food, we will reduce by half the number of Dane County children in shelters by 2015.

With help from Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), United Way tracks the number of school-age children in the district from Dane County shelters.

To create systemic solutions, United Way’s Housing in Action Leadership Team (HALT) supports the researched-backed strategies outlined in the Housing in Action Mobilization Plan.

As one of these strategies, Housing First places families at risk of homelessness into permanent housing quickly, then provides targeted services to address other issues and maintain a stable environment. Housing First has an 80% success rate in keeping families who have been homeless settled in permanent housing – more than twice as successful as the shelter system, at only half the cost.

Elements of Housing First

Housing Stabilization

  • Immediate placement in long-term housing
  • Locating housing and short-term rental assistance

Crisis Intervention

  • Stabilize participants with case management
  • Connect to community resources

Long-Term Action Plan

  • Improve financial literacy, budgeting and job skills
  • Identify underlying causes of homelessness
  • Keep parents and children connected to community
  • Engaged landlords as partners

If you are a landlord interested in renting to Housing First Families and your rent is less than $650 per month, contact Martha Cranley at mcranley@uwdc.org.

If you are in need of housing, contact United Way 2-1-1.

If you want more information about Housing First, click here.