Local residents and key stakeholders are invited to participate in an important step of community development at a federally-mandated public information session 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave.

The city is in the process of preparing its 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan.

The consolidated plan is a collaborative process where the community helps establish a five-year vision in three key areas: community development, housing and homeless needs. It is a requirement for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) formula programs.

City officials gather information from the public session and an online survey to establish future needs and objectives.

“Five years ago, the survey told us we needed better fire protection and better facilities for the homeless,” said Anthony Geliche, city community development specialist. “As a result, we ended up building a new fire station, and we now have a new homeless shelter.”

The online survey is available through April 30. The survey covers housing, homeless, special needs, infrastructure, public facilities, public service and economic development. Geliche said the city received more than 100 online submissions in the first week it was offered beginning April 1. There were 238 people who took part in the 2014 online survey.

The online survey can be found at www.kenosha.org/departments/development.

“I think you’ll see a lot of similar responses (from 2014) on neighborhood improvements such as housing services, programs to help people rehab their houses and services to keep the neighborhoods up to code,” Geliche said. “Sometimes it depends on where people live when they take the survey and how it affects their needs.”

The public input sessions are typically attended by government officials, school officials, church groups and nonprofit organizations, according to Geliche.

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