Mayor Barrett commits resources to address housing, employment, COVID-19 mitigation efforts

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced on Tuesday, June 30 his plans to commit resources from the Community Development Block Grant Fund to address housing, employment, and COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The total amount that will be reprogrammed comes to approximately $5.6 million dollars.

Resources will be distributed to city departments and community organizations for the purposes of providing employment, job training, education, affordable and quality housing, legal services, youth recreational activities, and pandemic response.

Through the City of Milwaukee’s 2020 Budget commitments, the following programs will receive $624,270. The financial breakdown is as follows:

  • City Clerk’s Office – $50,000
    • Milwaukee Community Excellence Fund is used to support community events that promote peace and violence prevention. The funds will focus on the Big Clean program, which promotes volunteerism around street and neighborhood cleanups.
  • Department of Administration – $500,000 total
    • Office of African American Affairs – $100,000
      • In addition to being responsible for the administration, coordination, and implementation of city policies relating to the special needs of African Americans, an important function of the Office of African American Affairs is providing direct services and resources for Milwaukee residents in areas including employment, job training, education, business ownership, financial literacy and asset building, and health care.
    • Street Prostitution Partner Patrol – $100,000
      • The program works with private and community organizations to supplement patrols and monitoring of high-prostitution areas in the months of April through September.
    • Milwaukee Promise  – $300,000
      • The Milwaukee Promise is a fund allocation to the Black Male Achievement Advisory Council. The Council was created and empowered by the City of Milwaukee Common Council and Mayor Barrett to lead the city’s efforts to advance black male achievement through the collective input and efforts of dedicated community stakeholders. The request for proposals issued from these funds have addressed improving economic activity, increasing educational opportunities, enhancing health services and trauma-informed care.
  • Youth Council Reserve – $74,270
    • The City of Milwaukee Youth Council is a group of young leaders representing aldermanic districts and committed to making a difference in Milwaukee. The Council works on issues that are important to young people, talking to peers, family, neighbors, and community leaders about their concerns and taking action to address them. The funds allocated will be released through a request for proposal addressing youth services.

Through the Community Development Block Grant Home Investment Partnerships Program, the following programs will receive $3,920,178. The financial breakdown is as follows:

  • Dominican Center for Women – $500,000
    • The Amani Block Project addresses the need for quality and affordable housing in the Amani neighborhood. The pilot block will engage current residents and partners to improve existing and new housing stock, addressing 38 units.
  • Impact Seven- $ 750,000
    • The Garden Homes Neighborhood Initiative provides gap funding to renovate 30 in-rem and privately owned properties.
  • Community Within The Corridor – $1 million
    • The Community Within The Corridor project is a 197-unit mixed-use development located on the former Briggs & Stratton Corporation site in the 30th Street Commercial Corridor.
  • Community Advocates – $1,670,178
    • The Rental Assistance Program provides funding match to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security funding designated for rental assistance for Milwaukee residents.

Through the Community Development Block Grant 2020 Reprogramming and Additional Entitlement Dollars, the following programs will receive $1,144,555. The financial breakdown is as follows:

  • Milwaukee Christian Center – $50,000
    • The YouthBuild program provides training and education for 18 to 24-year-old Milwaukee residents who are disconnected from school and/or work. Members build new houses, which are then available for sale to families earning no more than 80% of County Median Income.
  • Employ Milwaukee – $105,000
    • The Community Resource Navigators Program trains, employs and deploys more than 100 individuals to community and neighborhood organizations, churches, shelters, isolation facilities and other public health staging areas to: 1) Help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the distribution of public health information and resources, 2) Deliver medicine, food, clothing, shelter and supplies to older or at-risk individuals, 3) Aid in contact tracing, 4) Provided information on how to access mental health resources to individuals suffering from significant additional psychological stress and anxiety about the ongoing public health concerns and their risk of exposure, and 5) Provide information on how to access unemployment benefits, dislocated worker resources, or current job openings.
  • Legal Action of Wisconsin – $100,000
    • Provides free legal services to low-income people who would be denied justice without help.
  • Northwest Side Community Development Corporation – $250,000
    • Provides a match for a $1.67 million grant from the Economic Development Administration for the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium to establish an Energy Innovation Advanced Training & Development Center.
  • United Sports Club, Inc. – $15,285
    • Provides funding for part-time tennis instructors, equipment and camp sites at Sherman Park and North Division neighborhoods.
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