2022 Poverty Matters Plenary & Workshop Session Descriptions

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Opening Plenary – 8a – 9:30a

HUD Midwest Regional Administrator - Diane M. Shelley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator

  • Session Time: 8a - 9:30a
  • Session Room: Salon D & E
  • Session Speakers: Diane M. Shelley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator
  • Plenary Description - Discuss U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, policies and priority initiatives to create and preserve healthy and affordable housing, and address homelessness.
  • Session Materials

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
9:30a – 10:45a
Workshop Sessions

Session 1 - Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA)

  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon A
  • Session Speakers: Andy Heidt - WISCAP, Ashley Torres - Central Wisconsin Community Action Council, J.P. Parker - Wisconsin Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council, and LaSonda Buck - Social Development Commission
  • Session Description - The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) program has passed $200 million in payments distributed to over 48,000 households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is made possible through a partnership of the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), WISCAP, Community Action Agencies and Energy Services, Inc. The program is operated in 68 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties through this network. 
    WERA provides up to 18 months of financial assistance for current and overdue payments of rent, utilities, water, and internet. Eligible applicants include Wisconsin residents who demonstrate a risk of experiencing housing instability, have seen their income impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and earn a household income at or below 80 percent of the county median income. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenants
  • Session Materials 
Session 2 - Innovations in Housing - Wisconsin Housing Alliance/WHEDA
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon B
  • Session Speakers: Amy Bliss – Wisconsin Housing Alliance; Rebecca Giroux - WHEDA
  • Session Description - Wisconsin needs housing that is affordable for people in rural and urban areas. The factory-built housing industry can provide this housing with it's new class of homes called CrossMod. These homes fit into to any urban infill setting, subdivision, cooperative housing or land-lease scenario. Not only are these homes attractive and affordable, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now finance them. The only barrier is municipal zoning ordinances that are out of date and discriminatory. This session will demonstrate uses of these homes in multiple settings in other states and provide ideas for solving Wisconsin's housing shortages.
    Wisconsin and Housing and Economic Development would be interested in serving on a panel regarding innovations in affordable housing. WHEDA would present information on three of our strategic initiatives: Rural Affordable Workforce Housing Pilot Initiative, African American and Latino Homeownership Initiative, and Supportive Housing Institute. Presentation would include information on the initiatives, where we are at in the process, the goal and outcomes, and key learnings and takeaways. Each initiative closely relates to an area of housing that relates to the needs to the state of Wisconsin, with our overall goal of increasing the stock of affordable housing in an intentional and equitable way.
  • Session Materials
Session 3 - Getting to the Root Causes of Poverty: Systems Thinking & Transformational Change
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon C
  • Session Speakers: Frank Martinelli - Center for Public Skills Training
  • Session Description - Often, when we talk about systems change, we're talking about the systems that deliver direct services to individuals in need and making changes in these service delivery systems so that services get to people more efficiently and effectively. Of course, this is absolutely essential, and this work must continue. But improving service delivery systems is not the same as challenges and transforming the underlying systems in our communities that cause persistent poverty and the need for direct services in the first place.
    In order to bring about transformative change in these systems, we need to pinpoint the deep root causes of poverty. Root causes are the underlying factors and forces that produce poverty and make poverty likely to persist even those services may be in place to help individuals and families meet their more immediate needs.
    The importance of addressing the deep roots causes of poverty facing our communities has been brought into sharper focus as a result of the experience and anticipated long term impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Session Materials -PPT and Manual
Session 4 - Building Momentum for Feeding Kids: Wisconsin Healthy Schools Meals Campaign for All
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon F
  • Session Title: Building Momentum for Feeding Kids: Wisconsin Healthy Schools Meals Campaign for All
  • Session Speakers: Matt Stienstra -Feeding America Eastern WisconsinSenator Chris Larson ; Julia Means;  Representative Dave Considine; Representative Supreme Moor Omokunde, Caitlin Harrison – Elmbrook Schools, Representative Francesca Hong
  • Session Description - The pandemic has made school lunch free for all public school students. Advocates are hoping to make the change permanent. School meals play an important role in helping to ensure that every child in Wisconsin starts school ready to learn. A strong school meal program shows our commitment to the promotion of our children's health, allowing children to concentrate on graduating with the skills and knowledge they need to be college and career ready. Over 50 organizations joined together to create the Wisconsin Healthy School Meals for All Campaign. In this session, you will learn the status of healthy school meals for all campaign, what you can do to support, and how to ensure that no child in WI goes to school hungry. Objectives: 1.Importance of school meals for Wisconsin children 2.Status of child nutrition waivers 3.Coalition building Advocacy actions to end childhood hunger, 4.Action steps
  • Session Materials - None, this session was conversation based.
Session 5 - Why Racial Equity Matters
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon G
  • Session Speakers: Sherri Jordan, Envision the Ladder
  • Session Description - What racial equity means, effective communication tools and techniques, common language, and provide framework for positive and impactful outcomes. The presentation is the beginning conversation to promote economic opportunities for all.
  • Session Materials

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
11a – 12:15p
Workshop Sessions

Session 6 - Homeownership - A Path to Close the Wealth Gap in Communities of Color and Introduction to Community Land Trusts as an Anti-Poverty Strategy
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon A
  • Session Speakers: Johanna Jimenez Take Root Wisconsin; Olivia Williams – Madison Area Community Land Trust; Todd Mandel – Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development
  • Session Description - Take Root® Wisconsin is a Statewide Homeownership Network that brings together private-public stakeholders to increase homeownership and help people fix and stay in their homes. The Network is a consortium of community organizations, housing counseling agencies, Realtors, lenders, government leaders, and other groups working to promote sustainable homeownership. As a program within WISCAP, the Network will bring together new stakeholders, promote and develop new resources, implement strategies to dismantle housing discrimination and inequities, and more.
    The community land trust (CLT) model preserves the affordability of housing in perpetuity using a ground lease. This session will give an overview of the CLT model particularly as it is utilized for homeownership, and discuss the potential for growth of the CLT field in Wisconsin. The CLT model separates the ownership of the home from the land, where the CLT retains ownership of the land while a low-income homeowner buys the house on the land. A ground lease between the CLT and the homeowner ensures that the price of the home remains affordable for the next homebuyer. In this way, CLTs retain the initial subsidy and serve many generations of homebuyers while the home stays affordable in place. CLTs allow for wealth generation, stability, low foreclosure rates, and provide post-purchase support to homeowners. The CLT model provides a tool to create housing that ensures low-income households always have a foothold in a community’s housing market and that homeownership is always within reach without ever-increasing levels of direct subsidy. As communities work to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for the next major system shock, the CLT Model provides a way to “harden” local housing markets against such shocks and give low-income homeowners protection against the inevitable upheaval such shocks create. There are currently four CLTs operating in Wisconsin, and a need for more investment to expand the impact of CLTs on Wisconsin's home prices.
  • Session Materials - Take Root & Community Land Trust
Session 7 - Rural Housing & Economic Development Cooperatives Build Prosperity
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon B
  • Session Speakers: Jennifer Wickman - The Cooperative Network; Daniel Smith – The Cooperative Network, Wally Orzechowski – Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, Jane White – USDA-Rural Development
  • Session Description - Cooperatives are non-profit, member-owned organizations that have a proven record of “filling a need” across the country in countless situations. These range from bringing electricity (and now broadband) to rural America to bringing grocery stores to food deserts.
    Governor Evers’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity recently recognized cooperatives as particularly well-suited to provide jobs, housing and needed services. “Cooperatives provide numerous benefits to the rural economy. There are 742 cooperatives in Wisconsin spanning multiple sectors: agriculture, health care, grocery, credit unions and more. Rural stakeholders discussed the value of having cooperatives in their communities, from keeping more dollars in the local economy to democratizing participation in governance.”
    As a Door County Economic Development advisor explained, “Trying to get businesses from outside to locate here is not our low- hanging fruit. Our low-hanging fruit is businesses with 85-year-old owners who are going to transition.” As a result, some initiatives across the country are playing matchmaker in these cases to facilitate a transition deal to new owners or cooperative ownership that will save the local business.
    In his most recent state budget, Governor Evers established a grant fund to help develop new cooperatives across the state. Similarly, the Madison Cooperative Development Coalition (MCDC) helps combat economic disparities in the city. Its website says,
    “Membership in a worker co-op isn’t just a stable job, it’s empowerment to run the business together, for the benefit of the workers their families, and their community.”
    The panel will include members from various cooperative sectors such as credit unions, agricultural cooperatives, health care, etc…
  • Session Materials
Session 8 - Integrating Advocacy and Public Policy Work into SDC: Beginning the Journey
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon C
  • Session Speakers: George Hinton - Social Development Commission, Abra Fortson – Social Development Commission, Jennifer Harris - Social Development Commission, and Frank Martinelli – Center for Public Skills Training
  • Session Description - In 2021, the Social Development Commission (SDC) launched its Advocacy and Public Policy Initiative. The Initiative is an effort to build the internal organizational capacity to equip SDC for increased engagement in advocacy. This Initiative, rooted in SDC’s new strategic plan, will build on SDC’s past experience to target the deep root causes of poverty in the greater Milwaukee community through systems-informed advocacy.
    The session will share with Wisconsin CAP agencies and other conference attendees, highlights of SDC’s journey to incorporate increased advocacy and public policy work into its work.
  • Session Materials
Session 9 - Food Security Since the Onset of the Pandemic: What Have We Learned?
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon F
  • Session Speakers: Stephanie Jung Dorfman – Feeding Wisconsin and Judith Bartfeld – Institute for Research on Poverty 
  • Session Description - Food security rests on four pillars: economic security, robust federal food and nutrition programs, a strong emergency food network, and a vibrant, affordable and accessible food system. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted these foundations, and food insecurity emerged as a critical concern. During this session, Stephanie Jung Dorfman, Executive Director of Feeding Wisconsin, Judi Bartfeld, Professor and Food Security Research and Policy Specialist of the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty, and Amy Hilgendorf, Associate Director of Engaged Research for the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will provide an overview of what researchers and practitioners have learned about food insecurity during the pandemic – both nationwide and in Wisconsin.
    Objectives: 1. Gain an understanding of food security patterns in Wisconsin and nationwide and which groups have been most impacted by food hardships during the pandemic 2. Learn about research and data visualization tools to explore and visualize state and local data related to security, economic security, and food assistance programs, to help inform state and local food security initiatives 3. Gain insight about the pandemic challenges of pantries and ways pantries have responded.
  • Session Materials
Session 10 - The Many Benefits of Universal Youth Savings Accounts: Youth Forward Wisconsin
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon G
  • Session Speakers: Chelsea Wunnicke - Center for Financial Security – University of Wisconsin-Madison and Mary Ann Schilling – Center for Financial Security – University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Session Description - Topics Covered: Communities across Wisconsin are looking for ways to improve workforce readiness and participation, attract and retain young people, and close educational disparities. UW-Madison Extension Educators can provide connection to learning best- practices in the innovative approach of Universal Youth Savings Accounts. These educators can take these practices back to our communities throughout Wisconsin. Based on research from Washington University, Brandeis, and others, Extension Educators will share how they engage local and statewide partners from multiple sectors to explore bringing Universal Child Savings Account Programs to communities throughout Wisconsin, and the lessons learned from Q & A panels with professionals from the Native American, African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Hmong, and Students with Disabilities.
  • Session Materials

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Lunch Plenary – 12:15p – 1:45p

What We’re Hungry For: How Food Pantries Fed Rural Wisconsin During the Pandemic – Documentary Film

  • Session Time: 12:15p - 1:45p
  • Session Room: Salon D & E
  • Session Speakers: James P. Winship, MSW, PhD. Founder, Beechwood True, LLC
  • Plenary Description - This account of food Wisconsin food insecurity during the pandemic shows how five food pantries responded to this crisis in the context of the extensive but shifting federal response and fluctuating COVID-19 levels in their communities. This documentary also spotlights misconceptions that many people have about who is hungry and long-standing issues of hunger and poverty in rural America. 
  • Film Trailer

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
1:45p – 3p
Workshop Sessions

Session 11 - Tiny House Village: A Solution for People Struggling with Homelessness
  • Session Time: 1:45p - 3p
  • Session Room: Salon A
  • Session Speakers: Julie Dumke – Oshkosh Kids Foundation and Lu Scheer - ADVOCAP
  • Session Description - This presentation will look at Oshkosh’s solution for helping families struggling with homelessness. How a group came together and collaboratively created a 32 tiny house village, complete with a community center, a full-time case manager, and on-site services to help stabilize and support families.
    Concepts: - The power of community collaboration, the feasibility of tiny houses, alternative affordable housing options, empowering those most in need, helps build a stronger community.
    The presentation will directly cover the housing and homelessness track, in addition the presentation will touch on work force development services that will be offered at the Tiny House Village and how they are the key to a successful future for the families.
  • Session Materials
CANCELLED - Session 12 - Trauma-Informed Care: It's All About Connection
  • Session Time: 1:45p - 3p
  • Session Room: Salon B
  • Session Speakers: Scott Webb – Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Session Description - Even before the COVID pandemic, trauma was widely prevalent in our society. The collective trauma we are all experiencing now as the result of this pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. Moreover, trauma has negatively affected organizations taxing already stressed systems of care and practitioner wellness. Trauma-informed care is an intervention and organizational approach that focuses on how trauma may affect an individual’s life and their response to services. This presentation will examine the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) study and explore the many faces of trauma and its prevalence in society. We will discuss how the application of the six values of trauma-informed care drive connection and can be applied in multiple service settings. Never before has this topic been more relevant and needed to serve each other and those depending on us for help.
Session 13 - Engaging your Elected Officials
  • Session Time: 1:45p - 3p
  • Session Room: Salon C
  • Session Speakers: Marlo Fields – WISCAP, Calvin Boldebuck – Rep. Mark Pocan, Kat Klawes – Advocate and Gary Goyke - Lobbyist
  • Session Description – In this session we will provide an overview of the various constituent services provided by local, state, and federal legislative/executive offices, and the best practices for organizations and individuals to engage with their elected officials
  • Session Materials - Gary Goyke - Engaging Your Elected OfficialsLegislative Staff - Kat Klawes - Community Advocacy
Session 14 - Lead Poisoning in Wisconsin and What You Can Do To Help
  • Session Time: 1:45p - 3p
  • Session Room: Salon F
  • Session Speakers: Kristi Tennie - Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Ashley Miller – Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Session Description - This presentation with educate the audience and provide resources on:
    What is lead? The basics of what lead is, how it was used and the relationship between lead paint and housing in Wisconsin.
    What are the harmful health impacts of lead poisoning on children and adults?
    How do we identify lead? How we test children and homes for lead
    What can we do about lead? How the Lead-Safe Homes program can help your community.
Session 15 - Helping the Helpers: Using Legal Technology to Advance Economic Wellbeing
  • Session Time: 1:45p - 3p
  • Session Room: Salon G
  • Session Speakers: Alberto Prado – Lift Wisconsin and Dynae Saba – Employment & Training Association, Inc.
  • Session Description - The interactive presentation will guide participants as they navigate through the Legal Tune Up tool, showing how to address two of the most commonly occurring driver’s license suspensions across Wisconsin and the resources available to address other types of suspensions. The presentation will show how to access free personalized employment and training services through the Legal Tune Up tool. Other uses of the Legal Tune Up tool will be demonstrated such as the ability to remove eligible eviction and criminal records from the state online record system (CCAP).
    Participants will be able to identify and use accessible, free legal aid to help find out the basis of a suspension and the steps needed to reinstate a driver’s license, all in one place. Participants will understand the importance of removing significant legal barriers to employment caused by erroneous criminal records and drivers’ license suspensions. Users can access employment and training resources within the Legal Tune Up tool that places them on the fast track towards employment & training opportunities.
  • Session Materials

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
3:15p – 4:30p
Workshop Sessions

Session 16 - Wisconsin Help for Homeowners (WHH)
  • Session Time: 3:15p - 4:30p
  • Session Room: Salon A
  • Session Speakers: Andy Heidt - WISCAPLu Scheer - ADVOCAP, Julie Kerksick, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, and Karen Roehl – Legal Action of Wisconsin
  • Session Description - WHH is a new statewide program that can help with overdue bills like mortgage payments, property taxes, and utilities. The program is open to individuals and families who live in Wisconsin with overdue housing-related bills, both with and without a mortgage, who meet income and other eligibility requirements, and have experienced a qualified economic hardship since January 21, 2020.
  • Session Materials
Session 17 - Refugee 101: Refugee Resettlement & Wisconsin's Roles in Responding to a Global Crisis
  • Session Time: 3:15p - 4:30p
  • Session Room: Salon B
  • Session Speakers: Benjamin York – State of Wisconsin Refugee Programs
  • Session Description - This workshop will provide an overview of the refugee resettlement process, including the definition of a refugee, an explanation of how refugees enter the United States, and a description of the support available to them once they arrive. The workshop will also offer real- world data related to refugees worldwide in Wisconsin. We will dive into specifics regarding the programs and services available to refugees once they arrive to Wisconsin, and the ongoing opportunities for organizations, businesses, and private citizens to get involved. Finally, we review the recent and current resettlement processes of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees to Wisconsin.
    After attending this workshop, participants will be able to use real-world information to connect with refugee programs and refugee serving agencies in their areas and develop collaborative relationships that support refugees and our Wisconsin communities.
  • Session Materials
Session 18 - Deciphering the Districts: Wisconsin Maps, Community Empowerment & What Comes Next
  • Session Time: 3:15p - 4:30p
  • Session Room: Salon C
  • Session Speakers: Ryan Gelman - National Community Action Partnership
  • Session Description - The dust has settled on the districting process and new maps at every level of government will affect all communities, especially those with populations experiencing low incomes. Poverty and political exclusion are inherently intertwined, but so are political empowerment and economic opportunity. Join the National Community Action Partnership’s Fair Districting project to hear about Wisconsin’s path to new maps, how new districts will affect our ongoing recovery, and key moments for future Community Action advocacy on democracy issues.
  • Session Materials
Session 19 - Curbing Medical Debt & the Cycle of Poverty
  • Session Time: 3:15p - 4:30p
  • Session Room: Salon F
  • Session Speakers: Tim Hennigan – ABC for Health
  • Session Description - Medical debt collections and payment issues confront many low-income families and lock them tightly in a cycle of poverty. The global COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem as job security, housing, and medical debt issues collided to force many families into new levels of financial hardship. This presentation will focus on some Wisconsin-based family stories of medical debt and outline a path forward that offers hope for advocates and the families they seek to help. Moreover, the presentation will provide the audience with practical information and resources to help stop medical debt before it starts.
    We will discuss how medical debt interacts with the credit scoring system to trap families in poverty, as well as the equity issues associated with the problem. We will identify the tactics and strategies used by certain medical providers and collection agencies and profile research by ABC for Health that shows an astonishingly low rate of legal assistance and representation for people being sued for medical debt.
    We will examine specific issues that affect vulnerable populations, including: debt parking on credit reports, direct billing of Medicaid recipients – especially undocumented people – and the Birth Tax that disproportionately harms BIPOC families and can even take away Medicaid coverage. Finally, we will review the basics of health coverage options available to low-income families in Wisconsin so that attendees can learn the resources necessary to do basic Health Benefits Checkups with their clients, better prevent medical debts, and help families maintain health care coverage. Our presentation is driven by client stories from our hands-on experience working with low-income Wisconsin families.
  • Session Materials
Session 20 - Session Title: Who Ya Gonna Call? Mythbusters!
  • Session Time: 3:15p - 4:30p
  • Session Room: Salon G
  • Session Speakers: Lana Shope - National Community Action Partnership
  • Session Description - I’ve heard them, you’ve heard them, we have all heard them, the comments and accusations said about people with lived experience with poverty.  Why don’t they just get a job? Why do they keep having babies to get a bigger welfare check?   And it goes on and on.  This session with equip participants with data and facts that show these myths simply are not true. You will hear about how facts and stories can educate the public about the complexity of poverty, in Wisconsin and beyond.
  • Session Materials

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Morning Plenary – 8a – 9:30a

HomeStretch Va

  • Session Time: 8a - 9:30a
  • Session Room: Salon D & E
  • Session Speakers: Christopher Fay, Homestretch
  • Plenary Description – The Mission of Homestretch is to empower homeless families with children under age 18 in Virginia to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency. Homestretch is a non-profit organization designed to address the root causes of homelessness for each family and reverse it. Many of our clients arrive at our doorstep in fervent despair. Many are fleeing for their lives from domestic abuse. Many are trapped in the cycle of poverty. All of our clients have children under the age of 18. Homestretch is one of the few programs in the country with the comprehensive services to gather each family, address each dynamic, and enable permanent change. Homestretch families are able to achieve transformational change because they have, perhaps for the first time, the chance to address every problem in their lives with sufficient support to make swift and lasting progress. Because our expectations are high and we have such faith in what they can do, and because we remove all the reasons why they can’t, the families tend to make greater and more fundamental changes in their lives than they thought possible.
  • Session Materials

Wednesday, October 19, 2022
9:30a – 10:45a
Workshop Sessions

Session 21 - Homestretch - In Depth Session
  • Session Room – Salon A
  • Session Speakers: Christopher Fay - Homestretch
  • Session Description - Homestretch is a non-profit organization designed to address the root causes of homelessness for each family and reverse it.
    Many of our clients arrive at our doorstep in fervent despair. Many are fleeing for their lives from domestic abuse. Many are trapped in the cycle of poverty.
    All of our clients have children under the age of 18.
    Homestretch is one of the few programs in the country with the comprehensive services to gather each family, address each dynamic, and enable permanent change.
    Homestretch families are able to achieve transformational change because they have, perhaps for the first time, the chance to address every problem in their lives with sufficient support to make swift and lasting progress.
    Because our expectations are high and we have such faith in what they can do, and because we remove all the reasons why they can’t, the families tend to make greater and more fundamental changes in their lives than they thought possible.
  • Session Materials
Session 22 - Housing & Homelessness Federal Policy Update
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon B
  • Session Speakers: Courtney Cooperman – National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Session Description - The presentation will provide an overview of NLIHC’s Gap and Out of Reach data for the state of Wisconsin. This data will contextualize the housing crisis that extremely low-income renters face. Then, the presentation will introduce the four pillars of NLIHC’s HoUSed Campaign for Universal, Stable, and Affordable Housing—our positive vision for a bold housing policy agenda as we rebuild from the pandemic. The bulk of the presentation will review the status of federal policy priorities affecting low-income renters, opportunities to advocate for these priorities, and their outlook on Capitol Hill. The precise content will be determined as the presentation gets closer, depending on what is happening in Congress, but it is likely to focus on the FY23 federal budget, the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act to create a permanent Emergency Stabilization Fund, and the Fair Housing Improvement Act to prohibit source-of-income discrimination. Finally, the presentation will touch upon NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes campaign and the importance of mobilizing voters that will build the political will for bold housing solutions. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of the outlook of federal legislation that would provide housing solutions for the lowest-income renters, and concrete opportunities to take action on these bills.
  • Session Materials
Session 23 - Project Growth: Innovative Community, Business and Child Care Partnerships
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon C
  • Session Speakers: Kaitlin Ferrick - Wisconsin Department of Children & Families and Andrea Cammilleri – Wisconsin Department of Children & Families
  • Session Description - While the child care business model has been broken for years, the pandemic made clear to everyone just how heavily our workforce and economy rely on safe, reliable, high-quality child care. Rising to meet that challenge, in 2022, over 200 businesses and 28 Wisconsin community teams received a funding boost from the Department of Children and Families' Project Growth. Their mission is to ensure that child care is available and accessible to working families in each of their communities. In this session, DCF staff will present the findings of a statewide survey of employers about their understanding of and commitments to supporting their employees' child care and other family-related needs. Next, participants will learn about the work of business and community member grantees who have made the stability of child care industry their business, in the interest of employee recruitment, retention, and development of the youngest members of Wisconsin's future workforce. Across cities, counties and tribes, these grantees have engaged in collaborative models of investing in existing child care as well as data-informed start-up activities to increase child care availability. Finally, the session will engage participants in discussions around various potential solutions, including developing their own innovations. Together, we will prove that child care is part of the equation for healthy children, healthy families, and resilient, healthy communities. Therefore, both the public and private sectors must see themselves as allies and key players in solving the decades-old child care dilemma.
  • Session Materials
Session 24 - Emerging Developer Loan Program
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon F
  • Session Speakers: Fausto Rivera – Forward Community Investments
  • Session Description - Forward Community Investments' Emerging Developer Loan Program (EDLP) intends to reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities by growing the financial capacity of emerging developers - people of color and women - to develop real estate projects and transform neighborhoods across Wisconsin.
    Eligible Participants - People of color and women who don’t have access to loans from traditional financial institutions, graduates of the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program and/or the WHEDA Development Training program, new developers who have engaged in educational training, or worked in allied industries, to expand their knowledge and skills in real estate development
    Program Benefits - allows for-profit developers who would not normally qualify for FCI loans to apply for funding, allows eligible projects outside the parameters of FCI’s traditional loan products, technical assistance available from FCI's experienced lending team, connection to a network of lenders and technical assistance providers committed to supporting emerging developers of color
  • Session Materials
Session 25 - Beyond the Victimization: Recovery - What will it take?
  • Session Time: 9:30a - 10:45a
  • Session Room: Salon G
  • Session Speakers: Sonia Komisar Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups -  and Jeanne Erickson – Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups
  • Session Description - According to the June 13, 2022 WHO report, “Abuse of older people” “Emerging evidence indicates that the prevalence of abuse of older people in both the community and in institutions have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. A US study, for instance, suggests that rates in the community may have increased by as much as 84%.”(Chang & Levy 2020)
    This interactive presentation will focus on financial exploitation of older adults. Participants will discuss current scams and fraudulent situations, and the impact of exploitation on the victim. The discussion will also explore what recovery might look like after victimization for the individual and their relationships including family members and service providers. Participants will learn how to assess risk for polyvictimization as well as how to assist victims from being re-victimized.
    Take away tools will include warning signs of re-victimization and actions that can be taken to protect victims during recovery. These will include, but are not limited to a discussion of Power of Attorney and possible abuse; credit freezes and alerts and how to access free reports; and civil remedies.
    This workshop presented by the staff of the Elder Financial Exploitation Project of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups, will highlight how exploitation impacts the victim, and that recovery is a multi-level process that in most cases will take place over a lengthy period of time, well beyond the identification of the fraud and potential criminal actions, and that recovery, in the case of financial exploitation, involves more than the restitution of monetary loss.
  • Session Materials

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022
11a – 12:15p
Workshop Sessions

Session 26 -  Weatherization 101
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon A
  • Session Speakers: Tom Mayne - Couleecap, Inc. , Aimee Gendusa-English – National Community Action Partnership, George Thompson - State of Wisconsin, DOA, Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources 
  • Session Description - Weatherization is a massive service provided by many CAAs and other non-profits, that has direct financial benefits to medium to lower income renters and homeowners. Additionally, coordinated weatherization efforts can be instrumental in making communities more energy efficient and reducing carbon emissions. We want to provide a panel at Poverty Matters, that provides insights as to what exactly weatherization assistance is and what the process looks like from start to finish. Additionally, we'd like to discuss state and federal policy regarding energy efficiency. We could finish with what are some of the issues facing the service and how can we make improvements to our systems.
  • Session Materials
Session 27 - New Initiatives in Housing Vulnerable Populations
Session 28 - Getting to Know your Neighbors without Homes and the Resources Available to Them
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon C
  • Session Speakers: Eva Welch – Street Angels, Inc.
  • Session Description - Street Angels is a small, non-profit homeless outreach organization located in Milwaukee, WI. The presentation we are offering to provide at the 2022 Poverty Matters Conference is entitled, “Getting to Know Your Neighbors Without Homes”. The presenters will be Founding Executive Co-Directors, Shelly Sarasin and Eva Welch. Together they have 14 years of combined experience providing advocacy and street outreach to Milwaukee’s homeless population.
    This presentation is intended to help our audience gain a better understanding of who their neighbors without homes are, what may have led them to their current situation, the impact trauma can have on an individual, an overview of the shelter system and empathy techniques to assist with engagement and connection. We use real-life scenarios that we have encountered during our time on the front lines to help our audience understand the short and long-term struggles that this population faces.
    We feel this presentation integrates very well with the conference's purpose of "Recovery". For those who are experiencing homelessness, trauma can be ongoing and repetitive and difficult to recover from when it becomes a vicious cycle. We feel it is vital for agencies and individuals who work directly or indirectly with this population to have an understanding of what it truly takes to survive in the moment and to also reach for recovery at the same time.
  • Session Materials
Session 29 - SNAP Works! How FoodShare can ensure dignity while increasing food security
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon F
  • Session Speakers: TR Edwards – Hunger Task Force, Tammy Bockhorst - Hunger Task Force, Carmen DeValle - Hunger Task Force, Armando Hernandez, Hunger Task Force, Tammy Jo-Kean, Hunger Task Force
  • Session Description - During the COVID pandemic, USDA made record investments into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, called FoodShare in Wisconsin), giving low-income families and seniors unprecedented buying power. In this interactive presentation, Staff from Hunger Task Force will share practical information for community organizations on the FoodShare Program, including outreach and enrollment models, as well as current advocacy challenges on the horizon. Hunger Task Force staff will also provide instruction and support for local organizations and communities on how to increase participation in FoodShare.
  • Session Materials
Session 30 - Deliver on the Promise of Equal Education
  • Session Time: 11a - 12:15p
  • Session Room: Salon G
  • Session Speakers: Briana Kurlinkus – Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. (4-C)
  • Session Description - Every day 250 children are suspended from school. Many are children of color who are deprived of opportunities to experience high-quality early learning at the same rate as white children. Many families don’t feel heard and respected in their children’s schools. The question is, how can we dismantle inequities and provide nurturing, responsive care and education to all children? During this session, we will explore and address issues of bias, equity, low expectations, and family engagement to ensure culturally responsive experiences.
    Key goals addressed during training - Identify your own unconscious biases, recognize and minimize bias in the classroom, school, and community, connect with children and their families, help close the opportunity gap for children from marginalized communities and looking at the importance of an anti-bias classroom and teachings. Presentation will include the following teaching methods:
  • Session Materials

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Closing Plenary – 12:15p – 1:45p

Remarks from Wisconsin Department of Children & Families Secretary Emilie Amundson

  • Session Time: 8a - 9:30a
  • Session Room: Salon D & E
  • Session Speakers: WI Dept. of Children & Families Sec. Emily Amundson
Poverty Matters Awards
  • Session Time: 8a - 9:30a
  • Session Room: Salon D & E
  • Session Speakers: Brad Paul, WISCAP Executive Director
  • Courage Award
  • Herb Kohl Helping Hand Award
  • Excellence in Partnership Award