MADISON – A bill to address homelessness is one step closer to becoming law.

The Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform on Thursday voted unanimously to send Assembly Bill 235, authored by Rep. Patrick Snyder (R-Schofield), to the Assembly floor.

AB 235 is part of a legislative package introduced by Assembly Republicans, and supported by a broad coalition of advocates and service providers, that aims to combat homelessness in Wisconsin.

“This legislation will allow for an increased access to evidence-based approaches like Housing First for our homeless population. My bill, along with the three others introduced by my Assembly Republican colleagues, will work to combat our state’s long-standing homelessness problem,” said Snyder, in a press release issued Thursday.

Rep. Snyder’s bill would allow for the money the state currently allocates to transitional housing to be opened to include other types of housing models, such as Rapid Rehousing. The Rapid Rehousing Program follows the Housing First model, which aims at helping families move rapidly out of the shelter system or avoid shelter altogether.

“These are the first steps the Legislature has taken to address our homeless problem in years,” said Snyder.  “I am proud of the effort my colleagues and I are putting in to get more people out of the streets and into permanent housing.”

All four homelessness bills passed the Assembly committee with bipartisan support. They will now wait to be scheduled for a vote before the full Assembly in early May.