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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 May 3, 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 May 3 are:




Thank you to Oakwood Church for participating in Spring cleanup at the Day Center last week. We are also grateful to Waukesha State Bank for dropping off supplies from their #PayitForward campaign.


What do you think would be the best part of working at Family Promise of Waukesha County?



Goal is for the program to start June 2024


Planning and strategizing to create and implement a Shelter Diversion program began today! Staff from Family Promise of Waukesha County and the Balance of State participated in a strategic planning session on May 3. The focus of this session was to:

  • create and prioritize goals,

  • consider strategies for reaching those goals and

  • determine how will we measure the effectiveness of the program.

Since Diversion is a new service, here are some facts about the program:

Q. Who does the program serve?

The diversion program that we are developing will focus on families with minor children who have already lost their previous housing but have not yet entered shelter. 

Q. What are you diverting families from? 

The program is called diversion because we want to divert a family from having to go into the shelter system. This means it will take a great deal of creativity and ingenuity to help families find a place to stay without going into shelter.

Q. Why not just use the shelter system?

The shelter system is still valuable and important, but we want it to be a last resort. Too often shelter can become a lifestyle, especially in this current housing crisis, which makes it extremely difficult for families in shelter to find permanent housing. The other reality is that there is not enough shelter space to accommodate those who are in need. No family experiencing homelessness in Waukesha County should  ever have to sleep in their car or a tent.

Q. How is diversion different from prevention?

Diversion is designed for families who have already been evicted. Prevention is financial assistance that will help families to maintain their current housing situation. 

Q. How will you identify families with a need?

That will be an enormous and most important challenge to address. This is why we need everyone to learn about this program. An essential component will be connecting with all those who could potentially encounter families experiencing homelessness. This means having conversations with other agencies serving families experiencing homelessness, school districts, congregations, police departments, Waukesha County Sheriff Department, hospitals, elected government officials and staff to name a few. To be successful we need to develop a program that has buy-in and participation from all elements of our community. 

Q. What strategies will you use to divert families from shelter?

There are many strategies that can be used, part of our planning process is to identify what is best for Waukesha County. Plus we also know we will not be able to implement every strategy immediately so we will also need to prioritize and be honest about what can be accomplished in what time frame. With that in mind here are some strategies that will be considered:

  • security deposits and first month rent

  • temporary hotel stay

  • mediation between tenant and landlord 

  • incentivizing a landlord to accept a tenant with a recent eviction

  • covering moving/storage costs 

  • developing a mediation process for landlords and tenants before eviction

  • providing legal representation during eviction 

Q When will the program start?

Our goal is to start assisting families starting June 2024. 

Q What questions do you have?

Send any questions to and we will publish another Q+A in the future.



Family Promise Waukesha is now hiring 


To develop the Shelter Diversion program, Family Promise of Waukesha County will be adding team members. We are hiring for the following roles:

Shelter Diversion Coordinator 

The Diversion Coordinator is responsible for the development, implementation and coordination of all aspects of the Shelter Diversion program. This program will focus on assisting families to find temporary and permanent housing so that they are able to avoid the shelter system. They work as a partner with the Shelter Diversion Family Advocate, collaboratively with the Program Team and receive direct supervision from the Family Services Director. The Diversion Coordinator should have a trauma informed approach to all families and focus on creative problem solving. 

The successful candidate will possess:

  • A minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work or comparable degree 

  • Two years experience working with families experiencing homelessness

  • Familiarity with the shelter system and shelter diversion strategies

  • Experience in program development, implementation, coordination and assessment

  • Knowledge of the eviction process

  • Understanding of mediation

  • Collaborative spirit


Shelter Diversion Family Advocate 

The Family Advocate-Shelter Diversion will be a passionate and committed individual who has a trauma informed approach to caring and advocating for the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The main goal of the Family Advocate is to use their creativity, resources, and life experience to assist families to achieve safe, stable housing without entering the shelter system. While working with Shelter Diversion families, the individual who holds this role will also need to be knowledgeable with mainstream resources and other services offered by Family Promise of Waukesha County. They work collaboratively with the Shelter Diversion Coordinator, Program Team and receive direct supervision from the Family Services Director. 

The successful candidate will:

  • Possess a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work or comparable degree. 

  • Be passionate about supporting families experiencing homelessness

  • Have provided case management to families experiencing homelessness for two years

  • Trauma informed care training

  • Strong commitment to ethics especially confidentiality and maintaining boundaries

  • Ability to work collaboratively

Use the buttons to learn more about each role and how to apply.



What would be the best part of working at Family Promise of Waukesha County?

  • 0%Hearing the stories of resilient families

  • 0%Seeing families discover their own ability for success

  • 0%Connecting with so many great volunteers

  • 0%The challenge of discovering solutions to complex problems

You can vote for more than one answer.



Kate Wagner leaving FP Waukesha


Kate Wagner, Intake Coordinator is leaving Family Promise of Waukesha County. Unfortunately, circumstances dictate that her depart will occur at the end of this week. We are grateful to Kate for her service to those experiencing homelessness. She just celebrated her year anniversary last week. Her compassion for those in need is palpable. We appreciate Kate’s flexibility and willingness to help where needed.



Many ways to support the golf outing

Fund Development/Community

We are almost at capacity for the Family Promise Golf Outing to be held on July 22. If you are interested in participating time is of the essence.

Thank you to all of our sponsors. We are especially thankful for Green Bay Packaging- Baird Display who has been the Master level sponsor for the past three years! Please review all of our sponsors, use their services and let them know that you appreciate their support for Family Promise of Waukesha County. This would go a long way.

Thank you to everyone who is putting together a silent auction basket. There are still a few left to be donated. Would your group, faith community, business want to provide a basket? Choose one from the link or brainstorm you own creative ideas!



Congregations start building affordable housing on their property


Even though Family Promise of Waukesha County is a secular organization, we have partnered with congregations of all faith traditions. These partnerships have come easy because our missions align. It is safe to say that most faith communities understand that housing is a social justice issue. Some may ask, What Would Jesus Do?, but we actually know the answer. Jesus would feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned. It is not a stretch to add that Jesus would want to house those experiencing homelessness.

Some faith communities are responding literally to the message found in Matthew 25 by creating affordable housing. A new phenomenon is sprouting up across the country where faith communities are using part of their property to create affordable housing. Reverend Victor Cyrus- Franklin shared that the rising housing costs are threatening his community and he feels compelled to respond. Besides living out their mission by developing affordable housing, for some faith communities it has become a way to strengthen their budget. 

This article, What Would Jesus Do, tells the story of how congregations are working to be part of the solution of a lack of affordable housing. It is wonderful to see faith communities responding to those experiencing homelessness in a transformational way. 

Would your faith community consider such an endeavor we would jump at a chance to have that conversation with you. It would be another way to provide a community response to homelessness!



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