Care Net, a Christian pro-life pregnancy center in Dane County, will continue to pursue government funding for a housing project after members of Madison’s City Council chose to drop sponsorship for the project.
Care Net did not receive support from City Council members at Tuesday night’s Board of Estimates meeting and at a previous Community Development Block Grant Commission meeting. It is therefore impossible for Care Net to receive city funding, unless a member of City Council chooses to sponsor the company for their next meeting.
Ald. Joe Clausius, District 17, said he has not heard a single alder say he or she would be willing to sponsor Care Net’s housing project.
Care Net is a national agency that states on its website it is a “Christ-centered ministry whose mission is to promote a culture of life within our society in order to serve people facing unplanned pregnancies and related sexual issues.”
Rhonda Thompson, Care Net’s development director, said Care Net is no longer seeking a $150,000 grant from the city, nor a $400,000 loan from the federal government.
Thompson said Care Net will still be seeking financial assistance from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
WHEDA is an independent authority that supports economic development and works with small businesses, nonprofits and community groups. WHEDA does not rely on tax dollars.
Care Net will be applying with WHEDA for tax credits, Thompson said. She said they will apply later this week and will appear on the agenda for the City Council meeting Feb. 26.
Thompson said their goal with WHEDA is to receive tax credit for financing. She said if Care Net is approved by WHEDA, they will be seeking investors who will purchase the tax credit.
“We look forward to providing affordable housing in the community for 36 families and singles,” Thompson said.
Clausius, who is the alderman in Care Net’s district, said he does not support Care Net’s mission or their proposed housing project.
“This is an anti-choice organization,” Clausius said. “I’m a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose and I would not support funding them in any capacity.”
Clausius said he does not feel public dollars should be used to fund any kind of anti-choice organization.
Clausius said in a statement from City Council he along with Alders Tim Bruer, Lauren Cnare and Matt Phair removed their names from sponsoring a resolution for Care Net’s housing project. The statement said their actions were a response to public concern and revelations about Care Net’s practices.
In the statement, Clausius criticized Care Net for attempting to take away a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choice. The statement said he was happy to do what he could to support Madison’s strong pro-choice environment.
Clausius also said in the statement he testified against Care Net at the Community Development Block Grant Commission meeting Jan. 17.