GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Monday morning, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach announced an addition to his 2022 budget proposal.

“As part of our 2022 budget, we’ve included $84,000 in dollars for helping to create a position for a Housing Navigator,” he said in a press conference.

The Housing Navigator would serve as a bridge between county resources and those who need them.

“To work with individuals in our community that are experiencing or are about to experience homelessness,” Streckenbach said.

In 2021, the Brown County Health and Human Services Department served approximately 175 individuals who identified as homeless.

“45 of those people had no prior service episode documented,” Health and Human Services Executive Director Erik Pritzl said, “so that means they’re brand new to our system.”

A system the Housing Navigator would help the person experiencing homelessness go through.

“We need to make sure we’re connecting with those shelters and other providers and have somebody there that can talk about the needs of that person, to talk about that person’s accessing currently, to figure out what those gaps and barriers are,” Pritzl said.

County leaders present at Monday’s press conference say it’s time to take a proactive approach to the issue of homelessness.

“The way that we’ve been operating, very reactive, is ultimately costing us not only taxpayer dollars, but it’s also impacting all the loved ones around this individual,” Streckenbach said.

County Supervisor Joan Busky added, “this is a way to help them live better lives and to decrease government spending in the long run.”

The proposal will be discussed at the Health and Human Services Committee meeting on October 13.