This week, all Multi Media Channel publications
and websites are collaborating
with other newspapers across
Wisconsin to bring new attention
and, ideally, new action to a challenge
that has plagued our state for
decades — homelessness.
There are thousands of children
across Wisconsin who are
homeless every day. And veterans.
And single moms, and elderly men. It is truly a crisis
among us, and it crosses many demographics.
In a way October should be designated as Countering
Homelessness Month. At MMC, we want to help
address this statewide challenge. Earlier this year
we initiated a symposium in Madison on the topic of
addressing homelessness. We invited legislators, the
business community, service providers and members
of the media.
An important initiative that came out of the symposium
is the statewide reporting project on the issue
of homelessness in Wisconsin that you’re reading in
all MMC products this week. We want to draw attention
to this issue on as many levels as possible. Along
with this week’s reporting project, next week all MMC
papers and websites will be participating in a statewide
editorial campaign on the same topic.
Last year there were 18,000 homeless people in
our state. This year, the number has increased to over
20,000 homeless people. We are losing ground in this
fight, but we must not give up. We need to pull together
to help the less fortunate among us in whatever way
possible within our scope of capability and resources.
This is America. This is Wisconsin. Our grit,
resolve, and can-do attitude built this state and this
country to what it is today. If we increase the amount
of time and energy we devote to solving the homelessness
problem, we can lick it. We need to pull together
in a number of ways, whether by supporting our government
representatives to devote resources to helping
the homeless, patronizing businesses that are working
for solutions, volunteering at a shelter or food pantry,
or making a monetary donation to one of the service
Whatever you can do, please do. Whatever you can
give, please give. Let’s do this!
By Joe McHale
A tattered coat
A look away
An aching gut
A painful smile
An empty hand
A disdained stare