This blog provides the top 5 highlights or updates about Family Promise of Waukesha County for Friday, September 1, 2023.
The Friday Five is a weekly update that focuses on the 5 main things happening at Family Promise Waukesha County. We also look for ways to advocate and educate about family homelessness. It is our hope that it will help you stay informed and connected to the mission of Family Promise of Waukesha County.
Our mission is to help low-income families and families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence
through a community-based response.
Please note: Our offices are closed on Monday, September 4 for Labor Day.
The stories you can read this week are:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Photos of the week include clockwise starting in upper left hand corner: first meeting with our volunteer drivers. Thank you to Ralph, Dean, Jeff and Bernie; FP volunteers working at Habitat for Humanity to help build Z's house. The day includes dry wall and painting. Thank you to Tim, Jim, Ed, Char and Neal; Maria had her orientation day for grad school. She will be working on her Masters in Public Health over the next two years. Good Luck, Maria!
As we celebrate Labor Day Weekend, what do you feel the minimum wage should be?
1. WELCOME TO SHAWNTELL AND SHERONICA
Happy to have two new shelter supervisors
Family Promise of Waukesha County is pleased to announce that we have hired Shawntell Anderson and Sheronica McIntyre. They joined our team last week as shelter supervisors.
Their responsibilities will include the day to day operation of the shelter, assisting families with their daily needs and supplies, providing direction to volunteers and monitoring the security of those in the shelter. Shawntell will be working weekend days while Sheronica will be working weekend evenings. They will join Kate Wagner who has been working with us since we opened the Community Shelter. Kate will start a new shift of 7am-5pm Monday- Thursday. This will allow our case managers Courtney and Mattie and Program Coordinator Maria to focus on their role.
This is exciting news and we are very happy to have Shawntell and Sheronica on staff strengthening our entire organization.
2. KEYS TO MEANINGFUL SERVICE
4 ideas to make every service experience an opportunity for growth.
Community Involvement is a foundational value of Family Promise. We have been excited to involve volunteers in the community shelter in a way that they have an opportunity to directly interact with guests. Sometimes though, our service experiences are not always what we envision. Here are four ideas that will make every service experience meaningful.
Let Go of Expectations
Every service experience, even at the same organization, will be different. It may depend on who is in the shelter, what kind of day they had, or even what kind of day you had. Sometimes volunteers put pressure on themselves to “fix” who they are serving or want to see the results of their service immediately. It is affirming when that happens, but it seldom happens that way. Simply being with the families is the gift; your presence is the gift! No outcome needed. Allow your experience to unfold; be flexible; and be present in that moment.
A Mutual Exchange
As a volunteer we want to give back. Often we receive more than we give. That is good! The most meaningful volunteering experiences include mutual giving and receiving. Recognizing that we both have something to give is essential. Service is a two-way relationship. Every person has interesting stories, experiences and wisdom to share. Entering the experience with an attitude of openness, willingness to learn and a sense of wonder can make your service experience a sacred moment.
Service that Heals
Every family experiencing homelessness has been affected by trauma -- most likely multiple traumatic experiences. Trauma is a psychological injury. It impacts one's mental and physical health, decision making ability, and sense of self-worth. Sometimes a guest may make a decision about their nutrition, finances, parenting that may not be what we would do. Our task is not to judge, but to help heal. Healing happens best when we offer unconditional welcoming, and care.
Patience and Positivity
In a recent conversation with a social worker from another agency, he mentioned that one of the challenges he faces is wanting something for his clients for which they were not ready. He said sometimes the clients move at a different pace than he would prefer. People make progress when they are ready for it. What they need from us is patience, and positivity. Let them know you are cheering for them!
Not every volunteer experience is going to feel impactful. That does not mean it was a waste of time. We may not see the long term result of what we are offering. As volunteers we are planting seeds. Our service experience is an opportunity to offer kindness, acceptance and understanding. Any experience that provides that is meaningful.
3. SUPPLY DRIVE
We are running out of these items.
Operating the Community Shelter has taken its toll on our resources. We have almost gone through our cleaning and hygiene products and gift cards. We also need bed linens. Can you help restock our supplies on September 15 or 16. Please join us for a supply drive on those days. There are a number of items that we will be out of in a few weeks without more donations.
Check out the list and then deliver your items to our Day Center 139 E North Street.
4. BACK TO SCHOOL
As students return to school what are the rights of those experiencing homelessness?
Often people wonder what happens to school aged children when they are in a homeless shelter. The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that governs the rights of students who are experiencing homelessness. This act defines homelessness as anyone in shelter, living in a hotel, doubled up with others or living in their own home that lacks utilities or is infested. There are currently 8 school age children in the Community Shelter.
SchoolHouse Connection made this short video which summarizes the right of students experiencing homelessness.
POLL OF THE WEEK
5. LABOR DAY
What should one earn to afford a home in Waukesha County?
As we celebrate Labor Day weekend, the reality is that many families do not earn enough to be able to afford housing in Waukesha County. A recent study from the Wisconsin Policy Forum showed that a number of common careers in Waukesha/Milwaukee would not allow a single income household to afford the median monthly rent without being cost burdened.
These jobs are needed for our community to thrive. This means that many who work in Waukesha county as cashiers, health aids, school aids, hairdressers, tellers, bus drivers, machinists, cannot afford to live in the community in which they work.
The University of Washington Self-Sufficiency Standard has been updated for 2023. According to this study, a single parent with two school age children would need to earn $32.75 an hour to be self-sufficient. They measure self-sufficiency as a household living solely on their own income without any assistance. Each month this family would pay $1098 on housing, $1500 on child care; $815 for food and $367 for transportation to name a few expenses.
Too many jobs do not pay enough for a family to be truly self-sufficient.
You can review the self sufficiency standard for every county in Wisconsin and virtually every household configuration here: https://selfsufficiencystandard.org/wisconsin/
Spruce up our Day Center grounds on Garden Day! This service afternoon is set for Tuesday, September 5 at noon.
See details and register here: https://www.familypromisewaukeshawi.org/event-details/garden-day-rescheduled-for-sept-5
Please note: Our offices are closed on Monday, September 4 for Labor Day.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Sept 4 Labor Day - Offices Closed
Sept 5 Garden Clean Up Day
Sept 15 Supply Drive 10am-4pm 139 E North Street
Sept 16 Supply Drive 9am-noon 139 E North Street
Sept 18 Board of Trustees Meeting
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