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Updated: 3 days ago

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 June 7, 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 June 7 are:





The United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties Resource Development Team met with Joe and Maria. The purpose was to learn more about the programs offered by Family Promise of Waukesha County.


A lack of affordable housing is an obstacle to housing. Would you favor an ordinance that requires landlords to accept subsidies like Section 8 vouchers?



Understanding someone else's life experience starts with the humble act of listening to them.


Our weekly Wednesday meals are off to a great start. Over the past three Wednesdays, families from the Apartment Shelter Program came together for food and games. What is striking about these evenings is the innocence of the children and the closeness of the families. Their interaction with one another was kind and sweet. Yet, hanging over the room was an understanding of the challenges the families face and the long-term impact experiencing homelessness will have on the children. For a moment though, there is joy, happiness and community. The kindness of strangers has a transformative effect. These have been positive events for the families and staff. 

Unfortunately our staff had a couple of other, different experiences recently as well. These encounters included complaints about “those people” who are "lazy, disrespectful and just need to get a job." Another chafed at the idea that we would provide financial assistance for rent to prevent homelessness. From their perspective this is enablement. One commented that they were fearful for their safety when they are around people who are homeless.

These encounters stand in stark contrast to one another. The perception and biases in the second paragraph does not match our reality. Unfortunately the attitudes in the second story are too common. A Not In My BackYard (NIMBY) attitude, based on prejudice and fear, is not the reality we experience - at least not regularly. NIMBY is a significant obstacle to solving the problem of homelessness. It is one reason why affordable housing remains unaddressed. 

The best way to break through our bias, whatever it might be, is to step outside our comfort zone and engage with groups who are different from us. To 'walk a mile in their shoes'. Our approach is to meet others with humility, openness, understanding and a willingness to learn about them. These are the values that a community response to homelessness embodies. It is also what makes a community response to homelessness powerful and transformative. 

With all of this in mind we invite you to make, serve and participate in our Wednesday meal. Or find another way to interact with families experiencing homelessness. While the Wednesdays in June are already chosen, we do need additional help in the coming months. Click on the image below to sign up for a time to serve a meal to the families.

Thank you to the Oconomowoc Rotary Club for making and serving the meal this past Wednesdays and to the groups who are signed up for meals in June. They are:

  • June 12 St Theresa, Eagle

  • June 19 Oakwood Church

  • June 26 Our Savior Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc


It is our preference that all volunteers who have client contact complete the online training. To complete the Family Promise online training use this link: 

NOTE WELL: All volunteers must have a criminal record check completed.



First Diversion Meeting Provides Overview of the Program   


Thank you to those who participated in our first Shelter Diversion Meeting. 27 individuals attended the meeting at the Library. The majority of those were service providers, followed by community members/volunteers and law enforcement. Asked who else should be involved in developing the program, the group suggested: those with lived experience of homelessness, school social workers, landlords, donors, government officials, and those involved in the court system.  

The slide show below is a guided introduction to Shelter Diversion narrated by Joe Nettesheim. We invite you to check it out to learn more about this new endeavor. Family Promise of Waukesha County is a sub-recipient of a five year grant provided by the Wisconsin Balance of State. They were the recipient of a grant from the Bezos Day 1 Fund.

For more details visit our Shelter Diversion webpage

Year to date Program Statistics



FP Team speaking at housing conference on alternative shelter models.


Courtney Rutkowski, Maria Mundt and Joe Nettesheim will be making a presentation about the Apartment Shelter Program at A Home for Everyone Conference (AHFE) being held in Madison on July 17- 18. AHFE is Wisconsin's premier statewide affordable housing conference. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from experts on industry issues, attend breakout sessions offered in five different tracks, and network with colleagues for two days in Wisconsin's capital city.

Partnering with Brenda Konkel from Dairy Drive Campground, their presentation is titled Alternate Shelter Models. This session will be held July 17 from 11 am- 12:15pm. 

Alternative Shelter Models:

This session will delve into two alternative shelter models: Family Promise of Waukesha County’s apartment shelter model, and Madison's Dairy Drive Campground. Learn about how these models respect agency and dignity of the person and family. Learn how to replicate these models in your community.

Hope you can join us. Early bird discount ends June 9.

Learn more about the conference here.



A lack of affordable housing is an obstacle to housing. Would you favor an ordinance that requires landlords to accept subsidies like Section 8 vouchers?

  • 0%Yes, we need to give low income families a chance

  • 0%No, landlords should be able to make this determination.



Milwaukee/West Allis/Waukesha Corridor one of the most competitive rental markets in US


Milwaukee- West Allis- Waukesha corridor is the fifth most competitive rental market in the United States according to a study by Forbes based on data from the US Census Bureau and Zillow. Reasons cited for the competitive nature of the rental market were:

  • A vacancy rate less than 4% (dropping from over 7% last year)

  • High percentage of renters vs. homeowners

  • rental prices

  • year over year price changes

The study found that the Milwaukee area tied with Boston for the greatest increase in rent over the past year. Rent increased on average by $200 a month.

Unfortunately it is unlikely that this is surprising to anyone. The housing market continues to be difficult for all especially low-income families.



Seeking volunteers to help maintain our yard and gardens.


Maintaining the grounds around the Family Promise of Waukesha Day Center is important for being a good neighbor and making a positive first impression on clients and donors. We need help! It is our hope that there would be a group of volunteers who would come to the Day Center on a monthly basis.

Tasks would include:

  • weeding flower beds, driveway and backyard

  • mowing the grass in the parkway

  • planting and maintaining flowers

  • trimming hedges

If you would like more information about ways to get involved and support families experiencing homelessness please contact Joe Nettesheim


Five Plus: Gratitude!

"Gratitude is a big thing. It puts you in a place you are humble."

-Andra Day


Thank you, Dan and Patti Ewald for sharing a picnic table with us. A nice step up from our previous table that was broken.


Thank you to Abundant Joy Yoga for supporting Family Promise of Waukesha County with Yoga on the Green on June 1.



Over the next few weeks we will thank all of our golf outing sponsors. Please use their services and let them know you appreciate their support of families experiencing homelessness.


Dorothy J Thomson Fund/Tim and Lisa Smits and Family

The Thomsons companies manage the Meadows. Tim Smits is the president of the Thomson Companies. It is their openness to Family Promise of Waukesha County that allowed us to start the Apartment Shelter Program. We are thankful for their partnership.

American Transmission Company

ATC has sponsored Family Promise Giving Day and our end of year campaign in addition to the Golf Outing. Recently they provided snack packs for families in the Apartment Shelter. Thank you to ATC for families experiencing homelessness.

Kirk Larsen and Kristin Cherek 

Kirk is the brother of a board member. Living in Florida they have not had an opportunity to visit Family Promise. Their generosity is based on the recommendation of Kirk’s sister! 

Visit this page to see all of our



June 10 Staff Meeting

June 12 FP Apartment Shelter Meal  Location: Day Center St. Theresa, Eagle

June 13 Maria Mundt - 2 year work anniversary

June 17 Board of Trustees Meeting

June 19 FP Apartment Shelter Meal  Location: Day Center Oakwood Church

June 21 Bezos Grant Weekly Check-In

June 24 Staff Meeting

June 26 FP Apartment Shelter Meal  Location: Day Center First Congregation UCC

July 4 Independence Day- Offices Closed

July 17-18 Home for Everyone Conference starring Courtney, Maria and Joe

July 22 Golf Outing



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