The Hmong community and Madison locals joined in support of amending the resolution to transfer funds from the Contingent Reserve for the Kajsiab House, which was passed by the Madison Common Council Tuesday night.
The Council unanimously agreed to amend the resolution, transferring $40,000 to assist the Kajsiab House, a therapy program in Madison for the Hmong community.
Journey Mental Health Center, which houses the program, initially discontinued the Kajsiab House due to a lack of funding.
In an emotional evening, the Council heard the voices from the Kajsiab House and their supporters.
Mai Zong Vue translated for those who could not express their thoughts in English.
Blia Thao, a member of the Kajsiab House said many in the Madison Hmong community had nowhere else to turn
“We are here as refugees, we have no one to turn to,” Thao said.
Journey Mental Health Center to close program for Hmong mental health patientsJourney Mental Health Center will discontinue funding Kajsiab House, a healing center for the local Hmong community, on Sept. 28 Read…
Other members spoke in hopes of support from the Council. Many called Kajsiab House their home.
Before she could speak, Kajsiab House member, Mai Tong Vang, was brought to tears.
“I am sleepless. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep,” Vang said. “I don’t have any kids. No one is going to help me. No one is going to love me. I am an orphan.”
When the discontinuation was initially announced for Sept. 28, Hmong leaders were worried the closure would leave a gap in culturally-competent mental health services.
Vang explained Kajsiab House is what will help her. She said she has anxiety and stress because she has no parents, and she believes she has no skills.
Additionally, Rachel Niesen, from the Radical Social Work Organization said the Hmong community is at an increased risk for social isolation. The Kajsiab House supports the Hmong community expand their social circle, she said.
Though the Council granted the Kajsiab House $40,000, they will look to the Madison community for additional fundraising.
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The Council also overturned Mayor Paul Soglin’s veto on restricting Koi Sushi’s alcohol license.
After the State Street sushi eatery in Madison violated building codes, Soglin restricted Class B and Class C liquor licenses. The licenses allowed Koi Sushi to sell 10 percent beer and wine, and 90 percent food.