A private endowment could one day fund important support services needed as homeless individuals transition into permanent housing. In 2008 a Washtenaw County task force recommended a millage to pay for this work until the endowment was funded. The economic downturn killed the tax idea, but the task force has continued to meet.
Bob Chapman chairs the task force. Chapman believes initiatives like this need a long term solution like an endowment. He says this way organizations can focus more time on serving people instead of constantly trying to raise money.
The task force still thinks a county-wide millage would be useful but Chapman understands it would likely have to address a wide variety of human services. He says $50 million are needed and so far they've raised $2 million. The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation will be leading the campaign.
— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.