Gov. Doyle: Announces over $1 million for Wisconsin Fresh Start projects

Contacts: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that a total of $1.39 million will be awarded to nine Wisconsin Fresh Start programs. Fresh Start programs help at-risk youth learn building and self sufficiency skills, while providing housing opportunities for low and moderate income residents.

“Through Fresh Start, young people can complete their education and learn employment skills, while helping to improve the availability of housing for low-income families,” Governor Doyle said. “This program is a win-win for our young people, our communities, and our state. Congratulations to the Fresh Start participants for all of the good work they are doing.”

Department of Commerce Secretary Aaron Olver made the announcement today on behalf of Governor Doyle at an event celebrating the completion of a project home in Waupaca.

In 2010, Wisconsin Fresh Start agencies anticipate serving up to 340 at-risk youth participants. Under the direction of site supervisors, the youth will construct or rehabilitate 22 affordable housing units during the contract period. These housing units will be sold or rented to income-eligible buyers or renters, who earn at or below 80 percent of the median income in their respective counties.

Many of the homes will be ENERGY STAR certified, which will help buyers save money on utility costs. The projects are as follows:

* ADVOCAP, Inc., Fond du Lac, $114,350

* CAP Services, Inc., Waupaca and Wautoma, $244,000

* Community Action of Rock and Walworth Counties, Inc., Beloit, $33,000

* Indianhead Community Action Agency, Bruce, Hayward and Shell Lake, $174,300

* Milwaukee Christian Center, Milwaukee, $31,000

* Northcott Neighborhood House, Milwaukee, $56,000

* Renewal Unlimited, Inc., Portage and Baraboo, $279,750

* Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association, Wausau, $216,500

* Western Dairyland Community Action Agency, Hatfield and Alma Center, $243,700

Governor Doyle has long supported the Fresh Start program. The program offers classes to help at-risk youth achieve a high school equivalency diploma, coupled with an opportunity to learn basic home construction, rehabilitation, and remodeling skills. The program rehabilitates buildings to create safe and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents, and provides at-risk youth the educational and employment skills they need to succeed.