Updated: Apr 14
Family Promise of Waukesha County, Inc.
Executive Director: Joe Nettesheim
139 E North St, Waukesha, WI 53188
Family Promise of Waukesha County announces new shelter
for families experiencing homelessness
WAUKESHA - Family Promise of Waukesha County has announced the start of its new program providing shelter and assistance to families experiencing homelessness in Waukesha County.
Scheduled to open the end of April, the new Family Promise Community Shelter will be set up in the building owned by the Housing Action Coalition of Waukesha County located at 1210 Sentry Drive.
The space has been used as the winter overflow shelter for people experiencing homelessness from November to the end of March since 2018.
“The Housing Action Coalition is excited to begin this partnership with Family Promise and our Board is confident that it will make an immediate impact on families experiencing homelessness,” said Joe Pieper, Housing Action Coalition board president. “Partnering with Family Promise keeps the building alive, vibrant and serving an important role in keeping people housed.”
The Family Promise Community Shelter will be able to provide temporary housing for five families at one time, with the purpose of helping them achieve permanent places to live.
“We are excited for this new program because of the many partnerships throughout Waukesha County, this program represents a grassroots, community response to the needs of families experiencing homelessness,” said Joe Nettesheim, executive director for Family Promise of Waukesha County.
Family Promise currently leases five single family apartments that are used to provide shelter to families and single women. Adding the new shelter program will allow the nonprofit organization to double its ability to respond to more families and stem the impact of homelessness.
“Working with the Housing Action Coalition, and all of our partners, is the type of cooperation needed to have an effective, community-wide response to homelessness. Shelter is not the answer to homelessness. It’s an opportunity for families to stabilize. The solution is permanent, independent, affordable housing-which is lacking,” added Nettesheim.
Family Promise associated volunteers helped assemble beds at
the Emergency Overflow Shelter in February 2022.
Community response to homelessness
Before Covid-19, Family Promise staff partnered with 28 faith communities within Waukesha County to provide shelter to families experiencing homelessness. The new community shelter will once again offer opportunities for community volunteers to help their neighbors in need by providing warm meals, fellowship and more.
Partner organizations consist of businesses, congregations, and civic groups, including Green Bay Packaging, Shorewest Realty, QPS Employment, ProHealth Care, Oconomowoc Rotary Club, St Bartholomew Episcopal, Waukesha Stone Soup Project, Vernon Evangelical Lutheran, Highview Estates Neighborhood and Family Impacteers, and the list is growing.
“The need for shelter and housing assistance has been growing. While wages have increased, the cost of rent and basic needs have risen at a faster pace,” explained Nettesheim. “ In 2022 our shelter was at capacity for most of the year, and as a result we made over 800 referrals to other agencies who were also often full. This is a temporary program as the shelter will return to the Winter Overflow in November, but it will make a difference in the lives of the families who find shelter.”
About Family Promise
Since 2014, Family Promise of Waukesha County has been committed to fostering a collaborative community effort to assist families who are housing insecure.
Through its Family Homelessness Prevention and Shelter Programs, the nonprofit organization provides resources, cost-effective accommodations, and support services to local families threatened with or experiencing homelessness while assisting them to achieve independence.
“How a community responds to poverty and homelessness is a sign of its health and commitment to one another. Most of the families we serve do not have the resources to weather a difficult situation in their life such as a job loss, health issue or broken relationship. Our community is stronger, healthier and more able to thrive when we address the problem of homelessness and housing head on,” Nettesheim said.
For more information about Family Promise of Waukesha County, visit www.familypromisewaukeshawi.org. For information about how organizations and individuals can volunteer at the new Family Promise Community Shelter, visit www.familypromisewaukeshawi.org/become-a-partner.
Media Release PDF
Media Release Word Doc