Dane County Public Issues

Dane County is a great place for many people – from the growing urban areas to the quintessential Wisconsin communities, from the lakes and rivers to the hills, valleys and prairies. Yet, like all communities, we’ve got public issues to address. We will be using this web page to post information about these issues and about the organizations working to address them.

Addressing the underlying conditions resulting in poverty

Government and charitable efforts to address poverty tend to focus on meeting short-term, immediate needs. The array of support services to deal with immediate struggles include food assistance programs, food pantries, bus vouchers, homeless shelters, and community health clinics.

Poverty exists because of a host of underlying conditions – at the levels of individual, society and policy – that contribute toward it’s ‘stickiness’ (or long term and intractable nature). These reasons are systemic and interrelated. Consider how poverty is often entangled in any of the following issues: homelessness, eviction, lack of affordable housing, educational attainment, unemployment or under-employment, incarceration, child care availability and affordability, mental health issues, physical health issues (and the availability and affordability of health care), trauma, stress, and drug and alcohol dependency. These conditions, in turn, often have their own underlying causes (e.g., racism, regional disparities in opportunity, lack of investment in education and job training, economic downturns). We will be posting periodic articles about these issues in Dane County, and about organizations working to address them.

Affordable Housing