February 2007 Bay View Compass Editorial
Dear Bay View Compass Readers,
Last year the media helped bring attention to the lack of quality, affordable housing for persons who are living with mental illness in our community. As a result, the Milwaukee County Board created a task force to examine the issue and propose solutions. The task force concluded that there were approximately 80 persons with mental illness living in sub-standard conditions in Milwaukee County.
Therefore, I co-sponsored an amendment which was adopted in the 2007 Milwaukee County Budget that sets aside $1.5 million specifically to support affordable, quality housing for persons with mental illness. In addition, the County Board recently adopted criteria to allocate funds from this account and funded two housing developments in the City of Milwaukee. These two projects combined will receive about $500,000 from this account and will provide adequate housing for about 48 people. We are now 60 percent closer to a solution for people in our community who need it the most.
Lastly, the County Board is also examining the possibility of moving the Behavioral Health Division from the County Grounds where it is currently located to the former site of St. Michael's Hospital. It is my opinion that a move to this location should be predicated on proven, major, operational savings realized from moving to this site. If we can achieve savings, I also would like to see a portion of those savings invested into improving the mental health services we currently provide. I will keep you updated as this issue progresses.
As always, feel free to contact me at my office at 414-278-4232 with any questions or comments you may have.
Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic
MILWAUKEE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Courthouse Room 201, 901 North 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
PHONE: 414-278-4232 FAX: 414-223-1380