Updated: Mar 11
Our hearts remain filled with gratitude for our New Day Center! Families in the Apartment Shelter are able to use the space for laundry and can access our newly donated computers. Once we return to working with volunteers and congregations, those families will use the Day Center as a home base. It has been a long journey. The rationale for moving the Day Center from Wales to Waukesha was to be able to provide clients access to public transportation, make it easier for them to connect with other social service agencies, have a space that provided stronger boundaries and privacy for both staff and clients. We believe we have accomplished this with our new facility on 139 E. North Street!
We are excited for you to visit at our Open House on April 23, 2022. The highlight will be a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow and Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly. In the meantime, let's review the events and people who made this facility a reality. Thank you to every single person who has played any role in bringing the Day Center to life! It is a spectacular space and there are so many who helped make it a reality.
The process to purchase the facility began in later February/early March. By mid March the building on North Street had been identified as having high potential.
Board of Trustees
The board has guided the organization through many changes these past two years. Flexibility, innovation and creativity have been crucial in responding to community needs. Their vision allowed them to recognize that to better serve clients we needed a Day Center near public transportation, other social service agencies and that could provide guests privacy was a priority.
Joe DeKlotz, Board Chairman
Joe is a humble, kind man who is seriously committed to helping families experiencing homelessness. Joe’s real estate background was invaluable in navigating the purchasing process. Yes, it may be true that Joe D and Joe N spoke every day during the purchasing process! This photo is from closing day- July 31, 2020. Family Promise owns a building!
Community Development Block Grant provided funding for a downpayment and to remodel the second floor. We are grateful to County Executive Paul Farrow, Community Development Manager Kristin Silva, her staff and the CDBG board.
During the earliest days of Covid-19, initial support from the Oconomowoc Area Foundation allowed us to begin the Family Homelessness Prevention Program. We were able to shift our focus and respond to the needs of families in Waukesha County very quickly. Then they helped with funding to remodel the second floor Day Center. It is not a stretch to say we would not be here without the support of the OAF. Thank you to Maribeth Bush and the entire OAF board.
Movers and Shakers
There were a group of people who helped us pack and clean the Wales facility throughout the summer of 2020. We wore masks and in small groups due to Covid-19. Another group of people came on a hot day in August with trailers and helped us load everything at the Wales Day Center and unload everything in Waukesha. This is a long list. Your kindness has not been forgotten.
On August 1, a group of about 20 people came to the new facility and washed windows, dusted, cleaned bathrooms, cut down weeds, trimmed bushes, and planted flowers to begin making the Waukesha Day Center home.
Helping Hands from Our Savior Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc
This group consisted of John, Dale, Roger, and Robin from Our Savior Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc, and Mike and Linda from St. Theresa, Eagle. They helped paint, remove cubicles, and do many other tasks along the way. They continue to assist with maintenance around the facility.
We had a weed problem in our backyard last summer. Thanks to Robb Brinkman Construction who donated stones, the Helping Hands volunteers, and a group of youth from St. Anthony, Pewaukee they weeded, laid tarp, and covered it with stone. Still looks beautiful.
Another youth group from Good Shepherd Menomonee Falls spent the week with us and our friends from Our Savior, Oconomowoc, and sanded, rust-proofed, and painted our outdoor railings.
Jim Lewein and his sons of KJN Builders, led the remodel of the upstairs and did a magnificent job. He also encouraged the others who worked with him to support the cause. In-kind donations amounted to almost $11,000.
Lippert Flooring and tile provided all of the linoleum flooring used throughout the entire Day Center
Thank you to Bill Goodman who donated all of the dry wall and studs for us to be able to build out the full bath and kitchenette.
IKEA and Family Promise have a national collaboration. IKEA has been assisting affiliates across the country to update their facilities. We are overwhelmed by the donation that has a retail value of $28,000. This donation began with a consultation of needs with their staff, was delivered in two different trucks and staff came to help assemble for one day! We did not have to purchase one piece of furniture for the Day Center. Thank you Ikea!
Denise O' Halloran and Gail Frangiamore
Denise and Gail are two dedicated and compassionate people. They have demonstrated this in the care they give families in helping them furnish their new homes - but they went above and beyond in taking a lead on creating the space for the Day Center. Together they selected the items from IKEA, worked with our contractor, worked with IKEA, recruited volunteers to assemble, clean and so much more. They took an idea and made it happen. We are so thankful and appreciative of the leadership Denise and Gail gave to this project. Thank you Denise, Gail, Kevin and your loyal crew!
While we were getting the Day Center together, Mona Englund single handedly organized the supplies in the basement. Her organizational skills can not be matched. Plus she also helped recruit volunteers to help assemble IKEA product. Thank you Mona and friends!
Over the past two years Family Promise of Waukesha County has changed a lot mostly due to seeking ways to respond to ever changing needs of the community due to Covid-19. We are proud of our ability to be flexible and adaptive. Yet there is no way we could be in the place we are now without the foundation set by the founding pastors, board of directors, volunteers, committee members who spent two years inviting congregations, fundraising, finding a Day Center. There is no doubt it was a challenge. Thank you to all of those on whose shoulders we stand today.
Finally, no matter how programs change or the location of the Day Center, what will always remain the same and that is our foundational value: community involvement. It is community involvement that is transformative. And it is this value that will always define who we are.
Hope to see you on April 23!