In January, the Director of Health and Human Services asked the County Board for authorization to move forward on the purchase of a service contract to provide two new juvenile homes in Milwaukee County and funding for a Youth Employment program which provides young citizens with specialized skill training and jobs.
These juveniles homes are necessary to keep kids awaiting trial out of pricey detention centers outside of Milwaukee. They will give our youths the opportunity to stay in their community and the budget for these homes has already been allocated. So why is Supervisor Peggy West opposing their construction?
In board meetings, West claims that “she is in full support” of the idea, yet she has voted “no” on its adoption twice. She states that there hasn’t been enough community outreach to the neighborhoods where the shelters will be built. This is simply untrue. According to an update sent to the Board of Supervisors from Héctor Colón, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, there has been significant community outreach.
Outreach staff conducted community meetings for citizens to voice their questions and concerns. The staff also went door-to-door in the neighborhood and informed community members of the upcoming change. Of those surveyed, 74% are in support of the shelters, and 0% are opposed.
These facts obviously discredit Peggy West’s invalid claims, and prove that she is trying to delay a motion that would provide safe homes for Milwaukee youths in our community, rather than send them off to distant detention centers.
Call the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors at 414-278-4222 to express your support for the juvenile shelters, and to tell Supervisor West to keep our kids in our community!”