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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 April 26, 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 April 26 are:



We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill.


Is Housing a Right or a privilege?



Use your time and talent so support families


There are many ways for you to support families being served by Family Promise of Waukesha County. One of them is to use your talent and time to support financially vulnerable families. Below are a few opportunities. Volunteer as an individual or commit with your group! 

Habitability Standards Assessment

Check water pressure, HVAC, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as we ensure that families who have applied for financial assistance live in a home that is suitable for humans. You help only when you are available and in tandem with a Family Promise staff member. 

Child Care

Starting soon, we will be offering a meal and seminar twice a month for families in the Apartment Shelter. We would like to have some volunteers who would provide childcare while mom and dad are participating in the seminar. 

Light Day Center or Apartment Maintenance

Join our crew of volunteers who help with a variety of tasks around the Day Center and Apartments in Waukesha. Tasks range from changing light bulbs, to painting, to repairs. 


Be a resource for families who need a ride to a doctor appointment, job interview or work.


Cleaning Crew

Help us deep clean the apartments between families. We want each apartment to be sparkling when a family enters. 

To get involved or learn more information contact Maria



Stats show how Waukesha agencies are doing in response to homelessness.


How successful is Family Promise of Waukesha County at helping families secure permanent housing? Recently statistics pertaining to shelter from the Homelessness Management Information System were made available.

This first set of statistics cover October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023. These are statistics from Salvation Army, Hebron Housing Services and Family Promise of Waukesha County. They also include statistics for the Rapid Rehousing Program of the Community Action Coalition of Southcentral Wisconsin. Due to confidentiality the Women’s Center was not included. 

  • Average length of time in shelter in Waukesha 70.9 days (all shelters and permanent supportive housing.)

  • 584 individuals and families experienced homelessness in Waukesha County.

  • 24% of individuals in shelter exited to a positive outcome.

  • 76% of clients experiencing homelessness were new to shelter.

  • 24.2% of clients in Waukesha return to shelter within two years.

These stats are specific to Family Promise of Waukesha County.

  • 37 total clients were served during this time which is 6% of total individuals in Waukesha County.

  • No family returned to shelter in two years.

  • 59% of families served in the Apartment Shelter Program achieved a positive outcome. (This statistic includes families served from November 2020 to the end of 2023.)

  • 87% of families who were in the Apartment Shelter Program did NOT have a recurrence of homelessness. (This statistic is for all fours years of the Apartment Shelter Program.)



Story of FOX6 focused on homeless encampments in Waukesha


When we first became aware of this story on Fox6 news, as a service provider, it was embarrassing to watch. The existence of an encampment for those experiencing homelessness seemed as though we were not successful in our endeavor to help families experiencing homelessness secure permanent housing. Upon further reflection there are some issues worth discussing. Here are some additional thoughts: 

Are there enough resources for people who are homeless?

One man who was interviewed said, if they wanted help there are enough resources. Our experience is that there are not enough resources. The Apartment Shelter Program is usually at capacity. In 2023 we made over 500 referrals to other agencies. One question we need to ask is do we have the right resources available? 

Why do people choose a tent over a shelter?

Often it is due to the rules or structure. Living in a shelter means you lose a lot of your ability to choose. Shelters have structure of when and what you eat, when you go to sleep, with whom you affiliate. Giving up the ability to choose is difficult for many even if they are on the receiving end of services. For some who struggle with addiction or mental health issues, the rules of shelter are untenable. 

The encampment was seen near children on a school field trip.

Although it was not said explicitly the story implied that the people in the encampment were a threat to the children on the field trip. There is already a fair amount of fear of and stereotypes about individuals experiencing homelessness. We need to be careful not to make assumptions. 

Out of sight out of mind

When we talk about encampments often it seems that what we want is to not have to see those who are experiencing homelessness. We will be the first to admit that solving homelessness is a complicated and difficult issue. By no means are we in favor of people camping in someone else’s backyard. Yet a mindset that advocates for arrest or fining of individuals will not solve the problem.



Is Housing A Right or a Privilege

  • 0%Right

  • 0%Privilege



We encourage you to register for the outing soon

Fund Development/Community

The joy of golf

The Golf Outing is filling up fast. We encourage you to register your foursome asap. Visit our registration page to register as a sponsor, a golfer or the post golf event the 19th Hole. Hope you are able to participate on July 22 because you are the key to the success of families experiencing homelessness. 

Looking for other ways to support the outing? You or a group could put together a basket of  items to be used for the silent auction. We have put together some ideas for baskets. Simply click the link below and select the basket that appeals to you. 



Staff anniversary and Birthday


Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of Kate Wagner. Kate has proven to be a staff member with a variety of skills and a willingness to use them in support of families experiencing homelessness. She was hired as a Shelter Advocate, moved to Intake Coordinator, moved back to the shelter in winter when we needed more support and is now back to managing coordinated entry and intakes for the Family Homelessness Prevention Program. Thank you for your versatility and congratulations on your one year anniversary. Send congratulations to Kate

On May 2 Courtney Rutkowski, Family Services Director celebrates her birthday! We are grateful that Courtney is back after her maternity leave and ensuring that our programs are operating smoothly.  Happy Birthday, Courtney. Send birthday wishes to Courtney.



April 27 Oakwood Service Day

April 29 Board of Trustees Meeting

May 1  Fund Development Committee



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