Homeless individuals who can’t find shelter during the winter will have a warm place to stay now that Racine County is providing a $40,000 grant to Segue Racine so they can pay rent for the second floor of Lincoln Lutheran’s headquarters on Domanik Drive.
The grant was proposed by County Executive Jonathan Delagrave to pay the $8,000 monthly rent for five months – November 1 through March 31. It was approved Wednesday by the county Finance and Human Resources Committee, and the full board is expected to give it the “okay” Oct. 20.
Money for the grant is available in the county’s contingency fund, according to an announcement from Delagrave’s office.
An overnight shelter solution for those who aren’t ready to take advantage of HALO’s rehoming, employment and counseling programs has long been a struggle for the greater Racine community. The need was met for five years by the Hospitality Center, a day and meal program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Main Street that was never meant to house people overnight.
After former HC Director Rev. Kevin Stewart and his stalwart group of volunteers ceased hosting the overnight shelter in 2015, and hotel vouchers helped last winter, but those funds have dried up, and the approaching winter meant a solution had a deadline.
Segue Racine announced in April that a generous couple -Terry and Gloria Pogofsky of Glenview, IL – donated a former tavern on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive to serve as a long-term emergency overnight shelter across the street from Julian Thomas Elementary School.
Push-back from various community groups prompted Segue leaders Pastors Warren Williams and Holly Anderle to re-evaluate the location.
“This is a viable spot for a temporary low-barrier shelter; this building’s first use was the A-Center, an addiction treatment facility. Now Segue plans to help those experiencing temporary homelessness transition from the streets back to a place they can call home,” Williams said in the press release. “We are grateful to County Executive Jonathan Delagrave, the United Way of Racine County, the owners of Domanik Drive, and community leaders for their assistance and support.”
The shelter is temporary and will operate from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day, closing March 31 for the season. Delagrave stressed the need for a long-term solution and urged community leaders to stay engaged. Anderle agreed
“We are working to educate and inform the neighborhood and concerned citizens of our mission and most importantly, our rules and security surrounding this temporary shelter. Of course, the safety of the public and the people we serve is our priority,” she stated in the release.
Williams and Anderle will be on hand to answer questions at the Neighborhood Watch meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Prospect Heights Community Living Center, 2015 Prospect Street.