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Introducing Connections

Introducing Connections
June 1, 2022 Housing StabilityHousing AssistanceConnections Program

What is the Connections program?

Connections is a housing program that aims to support households that are in doubled-up living arrangements to transition into stable permanent housing. Doubling-up is when an individual or family lives with another household temporarily or shuffles between homes because of economic or system barriers. For example, someone might double up with family or friends after an eviction, an experience with domestic violence, or a move from another country – especially if things like their credit history or current income are barriers to finding immediate, stable housing. The conditions within a doubled-up home can become challenging or problematic, as there may not be enough space for both households to sleep or for children to study and play, and it often puts the host household’s lease at risk by having more people than allowed staying with them. Through the Connections program’s wrap-around case management and financial assistance, participants will find housing, define stability goals, and work on strategies to maintain their housing security.

What is the goal/mission of the Connections program?

With the Connections program, MOM seeks to address an unmet need in the community. Providing support and advocacy services to those households that do not meet the definition of homeless defined by HUD and as consequence, often do not qualify for government funded programs.

Why is it a needed program in our area?

Per the NLIHC 2019 study about doubled-up homelessness, 8% of individuals in households at or below 125% FPL are doubled up. The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not include doubled-up in their definition of homelessness, and since many of our nearby resources are HUD-funded programs, these households are ineligible to receive support, sometimes contributing to a feeling of being “Not Homeless Enough.” There is currently only one other housing program in Dane County that serves doubled-up households.

Households in the MOM housing service area who are living doubled-up include both individuals and families with children. After consulting with the social workers in the Madison Metropolitan (MMSD) and Middleton-Cross Plains Area (MCPASD) School Districts, MOM recognized the need for additional housing-focused, wraparound programs to serve these households. During the 2020-21 school year, MCPASD social workers identified 38 students in doubled-up families, which increased to 70 doubled-up students during the 2021-22 school year. In MMSD, there were 457 students identified as doubled-up in the 2020-21 school year, which increased during the 2021-22 school year to 534 doubled-up students, making up 80% of the district’s total population of identified homeless students. It should be noted that the numbers for MMSD represent the entire district and not just those within the MOM service area.

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