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The Family Promise Five is a weekly update that focuses on the FIVE topics, issues, events, volunteer opportunities or needs of Family Promise Waukesha County. This communication will update, inform and advocate for families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Here is the Family Promise Five for March 29, 2024.

Our mission is to help low-income families and families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.


The Family Promise Five for March 29 are:





Thank you to Southport Home Services for your generous donation.

Courtney represented Family Promise of Waukesha County on Holy Thursday during the foot washing ritual at St. Anthony on the Lake, Pewaukee. Foot washing is a symbol of the commitment Jesus had to serving the poorest of the poor and based in John 13:1-20.


Should homelessness be criminalized?


1. $100K IN ONE DAY

FP Giving Day on April 11 is an opportunity to change lives.


Help us reach our ambitious goal of raising $100,000 in one day on Family Promise Giving Day, Thursday, April 11. Our theme is: $100K in one day will give families a home to stay! 

These funds will be used to:

  • Prevent family homelessness

  • Provide shelter to families experiencing homelessness

  • Expand our Apartment Shelter Program into Oconomowoc

As the need to expand services to families has grown, so have our expenses. It is imperative that we respond to maintain and grow our level of service. 

We are hopeful that we will be able to meet this goal thanks to the challenge grant fund established by a few individuals and businesses. The generosity of two anonymous individuals along with Mike and Amanda Hallquist, the American Transmission Company, Bank Five Nine, and GE HealthCare (matching an individual gift), over 50% of our goal is committed already! 


Even with this great start, we need your help! 

Raising the additional funds is a significant increase over past Giving Day years. This will not be easy.  We need everyone to give generously and share this need in order to reach this ambitious goal.  



Four Ways to Donate:

The Giving Day platform opens at 12:00 a.m. on April 11.

1] GIVE ONLINE on April 11



made payable to Family Promise of Waukesha County before to:

Family Promise of Waukesha County, PO Box 66, Waukesha, WI 53187


3] VENMO us:


4] Pledge a gift on or before April 11 by email:



Constitutionality of criminalizing homelessness to be determined by SCOTUS 


The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the legality of homeless encampments starting April 22. The case is the City of Grants Pass v. Johnson in which the city's enforcement of its ban on encampments is being challenged. Lower courts have ruled that arresting those experiencing involuntary homelessness is cruel and unusual punishment. In effect what is being challenged is if it is constitutional for a community to pass an ordinance that criminalizes homelessness.  

More and more communities are attempting to address homeless encampments by outlawing them, which means some communities arrest or fine an individual who is camping in a public space. A bill that included a jail term of 30 days for sleeping in a homeless encampment on public grounds has recently been discussed in committee in the Wisconsin state legislature.

We have no legal expertise and cannot address this issue on the legal merits of the case, but instead wish to point out that the real reason encampments are growing is because of a lack of creative and tenable solutions for the lack of housing. 

Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, we would argue that even if a city has the right to criminalize homelessness by arresting or fining an individual for being homeless it is a bad idea that will result in making the problem worse. Here is why:

  • Having a criminal record creates an even greater obstacle to housing.

  • Giving a fine to a person without money is pointless and will move them deeper into poverty and further from housing.

  • It does not actually address the issues such as addiction, mental health, low wages, lack of enough housing including affordable housing, poor credit, and education, which are among the factors that contribute to homelessness. 

There is nothing good about a homeless encampment, but we can be more resourceful, innovative and creative in finding solutions to end homelessness than turning jails into an alternate form of shelter. 



Should homelessness be criminalized?

  • 0%Yes

  • 0%No



Golf Outing sign up to open April 5 

Community/Fund Development

You are invited to the 2024 Family Promise of Waukesha Golf Outing which will be held on July 22, 2024 at the Oconomowoc Golf Club. This is our major funding event for Family Promise of Waukesha County. Individual registration for the Family Promise of Waukesha County golf outing will open on Friday, April 5, 2024. Mark your calendar now and start making plans to register your foursome. This event has limited foursomes available and fills quickly. 

Our theme recognizes that the key to ending family homelessness rests in a community response. 


We are grateful to all of those who are sponsoring the event:  


To become a sponsor complete this form.


4. PRESENTERS ON HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS Learn about housing and homelessness in Waukesha County 


Family Promise of Waukesha County can provide a speaker for your group! We will meet with groups of 5 or 500! You can meet at our Day Center and include a tour or we can come to you. Our talks could include:

  • Is family homelessness in Waukesha County real?

  • The day to day realities of families experiencing homelessness.

  • Housing issues in Waukesha County and beyond.

  • Overview of our programs.

  • Why does our community need affordable housing?

  • Why a Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) attitude is detrimental to the health of our community.

  • Scriptural reflection on homelessness, service and justice

  • Or ... let us know what your group would be interested in discussing.

Contact Joe Nettesheim to schedule a presentation 



Submit your entry by April 3. 

Submit your entry in the Family Promise 10 year anniversary quiz by Wednesday, April 3.

Let’s have some fun and test our knowledge of Family Promise programs from over the past 10 years. There are 12 questions. Each one is worth 10 points. The individual with the best score will be awarded a $10 gift card to a local coffee shop. (This is why we ask for your email address.) In the event of a tie for the lead the winner will be selected randomly.

So far there have been nine entries -- what do you have to lose?!



Meaghan Miechen the Executive Director of the Community Action Coalition of Southeastern Wisconsin along with Hannah Renfro, Executive Director from Tenant Resource Center, will be live on Wisconsin Public Radio's "The Morning Show" this Monday, April 1st, from 7:30-8 am. Together they'll be tackling the pressing issue of rising evictions in Wisconsin. CAC is a collaborative partner with Family Promise in the Waukesha County Continuum of Care.


Wishing you and your family a joy and peace filled Easter.


March 31 Easter

April 5 Safe and Stable Homes Meeting with United Way

April 8 Exec Committee

April 12 Rise Up

April 15-17 Family Promise Midwest Directors Meeting, Minneapolis

April 24 Program Committee

April 27 Spring Clean-up with Oakwood

April 29 Board of Trustees Meeting

May 1  Fund Development Committee



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