This blog provides the top 5 highlights or updates about Family Promise of Waukesha County for Friday, January 27, 2023.
The Friday Five is a weekly blog post/update that focuses on the top five occurrences, issues, opportunities facing Family Promise each week. 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.
The stories you can read this week are:
What group or organization will you ask to partner with Family Promise of our new shelter program?
Become a volunteer/partner with Family Promise. It will make your happy like these volunteers.
1. SHELTER OPPORTUNITY
Family Promise is making plans to implement a new shelter program for families by leasing space owned by the Housing Action Coalition of Waukesha County. The facility we plan to use is an old firehouse that has been turned into a shelter for Winter. Currently, it is used from November to March. Family Promise would obtain access to the site on April 10 with a target date of April 24 to shelter additional families. This would allow us to double our shelter capacity. Even though plans are moving forward we still have two important benchmarks to achieve before opening. They are:
1] Commitments from partner groups
The shelter will be staffed each night from 5-8 pm by volunteers from partner groups. They will provide a meal and be available for hospitality. In the rotational model, our partners were mainly faith communities. We expect many will continue but also know we need to engage new partners. These groups could be faith communities, businesses, civic groups, bible studies, card clubs, chambers of commerce, book clubs, or . . . you name it. Partner organizations would be asked to make a recurring commitment once a month. If you are a member of a faith community currently involved with Family Promise, reach out to your volunteer coordinator to let them know you want to help.
Please visit the Become A Partner webpage to learn more. On this page are details about the program, a brochure, a recorded webinar and a form to submit so you can get more information. There are a number of info sessions planned as well.
If you are a new organization, we welcome an opportunity to meet with you and your volunteers. If you have questions or want to get involved, please complete the form on the bottom of the webpage. Use the button to access the page.
2] Secure funding
This project will ADD approximately $180,000 to our budget. We need to secure 30% of the funding to continue moving forward. We are working to obtain funding through grants and business partners.
We are excited and hopeful that using this site will allow us to double the number of families we serve. We have created a new webpage for you to review the program. To learn more about these plans join us at an information session on Tuesday, January 31 starting at 6:30pm. This will be held at Delafield Presbyterian and via Microsoft Teams. Registration is necessary
Secondly, the Family Promise Forum will discuss this project on Wednesday, February 8. Registration for both events is necessary.
Review the Become a Partner page for other information sessions.
POLL OF THE WEEK
2. NEW CEO OF FAMILY PROMISE NATIONAL
Family Promise national has announced the name of their new CEO. Cheryl Schuch will begin her role as Chief Executive Officer on March 1. She succeeds Claas Ehlers who had been with Family Promise for 20 years and departed in August. Cheryl has been the Executive Director of Family Promise Grand Rapids growing that affiliate into one of the largest in the network with an annual budget of $7 million.
This is an exciting and important announcement for the future of the organization. You can read the announcement and more about Cheryl on the Family Promise website.
3. TREASURES OF THE CHURCH AWARD
Family Promise of Waukesha County is being awarded one of the Treasurers of the Church awards from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. This award is to recognize Family Promise for compassionate service to families experiencing homelessness.
The award will be presented by Archbishop Jerome Listecki at a luncheon on March 28. If you would like to join us for this lunch ceremony you can register below.
4. THE NIMBY MYTH = NOT IN MY BACK YARD
Unfortunately, the remarks expressed by the Brookfield Alderman in this story are similar to comments we have heard before. Too many people have an impression that low-income, impoverished, or individuals experiencing homelessness are people with a low moral character and a suspect work ethic. As with most generalities, that impression is simply not accurate. Our experience is that one’s economic status does not determine if they are a good neighbor.
Aside from the fact that preventing housing projects from moving forward based on the income level of the tenant is illegal in Wisconsin, economic segregation (any segregation for that matter) is horrible public policy. According to the Waukesha County Business Alliance, workforce housing refers to individuals with an earned income of $42,952 to $85,904. For a community to thrive, there need to be housing options for teachers, first responders, pastors, and fast food and other small business workers to live.
Plus it is just the right thing to do. Poverty and homelessness are extremely difficult to escape. Over the past year, we have seen families who were barely getting by fall off the cliff without long-term housing options. Some municipal ordinances around housing, policies on evictions, the lack of affordable/workforce housing, and criminalizing homelessness trap people in poverty. Then we blame them for being poor.
What motivates people to change their lives is hope. The myth of NIMBY is that it is a way for one to protect their neighborhood and strengthen their community. All the while limiting the options of others, crushing their hope by removing any real possibility of upward mobility. People without hope, who have nothing left to lose, make our society more vulnerable not stronger. For those in poverty, to get out of homelessness there has to be accessible housing options. Affordable or workforce housing fosters hope, opportunity and allows our communities to flourish. This is what will strengthen neighborhoods and communities.
5. GRANT AWARD
We are excited to announce that Family Promise of Waukesha County is a recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Catholic Community Foundation. These funds are to be used to support the Apartment Shelter Program.
Thank you to the Catholic Community Foundation for their loyal and impactful support.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
January 31 Family Promise New Shelter Info Session online or in-person at Delafield Presbyterian
Jan 29-Feb 4 Host Church: Delafield Presbyterian / Our Saviors Hartland
February 8 Family Promise Town Hall Forum
February 5-11 Host Church: Islamic Society of Brookfield / St Anthony on the Lake
February 12-18 Host Church: First Congregational UCC Oconomowoc
February 19-25 Host Church: TBD
Feb 26 - Mar 11 Host Church: Reformation Ev. Lutheran Church
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