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Racine County Lends a Hand to HALO Homeless Shelter

There’s good news in Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave’s budget for HALO, Racine’s main shelter for homeless people.

Delagrave included a $100,000 grant for the non-profit, which has seen a decline in United Way funding and an increase in business after changing its operating model to include shelter for almost anyone in need.

Speaking to reporters, Delagrave noted that HALO recently expanded its mission at the request of the county and others to lower its barriers and serve the hard-to-deal-with segment of the homeless population. The request came in the wake of a decision two years ago by a downtown church to stop offering overnight shelter. A temporary shelter that was set up last winter received some county funding, but having HALO open its doors a little wider is a much more efficient way of dealing with the homeless problem, Delagrave said Tuesday. 

HALO accepted the challenge. "We were making a big ask of HALO to change their strategy and core service and take on more capacity," he said. "This $100,000 goes to help their operational budget. 

HALO executive director Gai Lorenzen said the county contribution--which must first be approved by the county board--is "crucial," adding that the shelter has had to add personnel, modify operating procedures and improve security since relaxing its admission standards.