For the City Times
Submitted by Betty Phillips, Resource Specialist for Aging & Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin
ADRC-CW and Homelessness
The Aging & Disability Resource Center of Central WI (ADRC-CW) covers a four county region specifically Lincoln, Langlade, Marathon and Wood Counties. In Wood County we have an office in Marshfield and in Wisconsin Rapids. We provide reliable, unbiased information about programs and services for the general public and adults with disabilities including students with disabilities transitioning to adulthood at age 17years 6 months as well as their families.
Among many other services ADRC-CW offers, we can connect homeless people to area agencies that can assist them. When someone who is homeless comes into our office we can see if there are any public benefits they may be eligible for and help them apply for those benefits. We will direct people to area food pantries, area apartments, shelters, and area agencies that can connect them with emergency housing. If that person needs long term care supports we work with them and other agencies through that eligibility process.
Not too long ago “Robert” came to our ADRC-CW office. Robert was new to the area needed a place to stay, had no friends or family he could stay with and needed an apartment but he didn’t know where to find an apartment. Robert had a car and gas in the car, had a cellphone with minutes on it. He was starting a job soon but no cash on hand now. Together we phoned Northern Income Maintenance and applied for WI benefits/food share/health insurance.
I gave Robert the food pantry locations, Housing Authority phone number/location, a list of area subsidized apartments, some area motels that rent weekly/monthly and the phone number for Stevens Point Salvation Army. We phoned Helping Hands to talk about temporary housing options and gave him the phone number for North Central Community Action Program for possible security deposit funding.
Unfortunately, most of the time ADRC-CW doesn’t know the rest of the story because the people we see don’t need us anymore and because the agencies we refer them to are really who they need. The ADRC-CW Resource Specialist’s job is done – getting people to where they need to be to get the services/supports they need.