This blog provides the top 5 highlights or updates about Family Promise of Waukesha County for Friday, September 22, 2023.
The Friday Five is a weekly update that focuses on the 5 main things happening at Family Promise Waukesha County. This communication should update, inform and advocate for families who are financially vulnerable.
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:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'
---Mary Ann Rademacher
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Below are photos of Joe's presentation at Landmark Credit Union, training on Unconscious Bias at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, and the Family Promise new staff member orientation.
Should Family Promise create a static shelter facility and if so where should it be located?
1. COMMUNITY SHELTER
One month left before our pilot program ends
The Family Promise of Waukesha County Community Shelter will come to a close on October 27. We have decided not to add any more families to the program and will focus on ensuring that the remaining four families are able to exit to housing. Operating the Community Shelter has been a great success, even if there is room for improvement. To date we were able to serve 13 families which includes 14 adults and 31 children. Without this program it is unlikely that these families would have found shelter in Waukesha.
As we finish this pilot program our focus moving forward is:
Assisting current families in finding permanent housing.
Looking for ways to improve our shelter processes and policies.
Ensure volunteers and partner organizations are being used to the best of their ability.
Securing funding to operate the shelter in 2024.
Seeking additional ways to offer shelter to more families (more coming soon) on a permanent basis. (see #2 below)
The program still has a month to go, so a final report will be made end of November/early December.
2. DREAMS OF A STATIC SITE
Been challenging to find a space that suits everyone’s needs
The Community Shelter has been a great experience. It has caused our agency and staff to grow skill and size. It is not a secret that our hope would be able to find a site that could be a permanent static shelter site. We admire the model of both Family Promise of Washington County and Family Promise of Ozaukee County. Our dream would be to have a facility that had space to provide shelter to 4-6 families and could offer transitional housing for another four families. To date we have not found this facility. It has been a challenge to find a building in the right location that would suit the needs of the families (on public transportation, near child-care, many opportunities for work) and is acceptable to the municipality.
We continue to look and share this information with you to encourage you to keep your eyes open and share any ideas you may have.
POLL OF THE WEEK
3. BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION
Ways you can support families experiencing homelessness
Here are a few ways you can offer families experiencing homelessness care and support:
We are grateful to those who assisted with the supply drive, yet we still find ourselves with some needs. Please drop off any of the items below at our Day Center 139 E North Street Waukesha between 8:30am -4:30pm. Another way to support these needs is for your business, civic group, organization or congregation to hold a drive at your location.
DONATE GIFT CARDS
Gift cards for grocery stores and gas stations are invaluable for our clients. Gift cards to Kwik Trip, BP, Pick N Save are used most.
PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT
Volunteers are needed to support ProjectHomelessConnect (PHC), a community event that brings vital resources together under one roof on one day to best serve those at risk of homelessness in Waukesha County. PHC services typically include health screenings, dental and vision exams, haircuts, resource fair, and take-away hygiene & cold weather items.
4. RELATIONSHIPS AND RESOURCES
Relationships play a key role in homelessness!
A 32 year old mom of four children ages four to 16 found herself experiencing homelessness. After a few weeks of bouncing from one friend's house to another she contacted Family Promise of Waukesha County. Reflecting on her situation it dawned on a staff member that her situation was not that much different than someone they knew. Both moms were the same age, had the same number of children and were both single. One major difference: one mom was experiencing homelessness and the other was not. Why was this the case?
Perhaps it has to do with where mom #2 started. She was born into a family that was middle class, had parents with jobs that paid a livable wage, had some money saved and while they were not wealthy, they were able to live a comfortable life. Even though mom #2 had a baby while in
college, she was able to return to school to complete her undergraduate degree and eventually her master’s degree. Now she has a job that pays a decent wage. She was able to finish her degree because she had parents who watched her children when she went to class or work, were able to underwrite a percentage of her housing costs, and provided her with a car. Homelessness was never a consideration.
On the other hand, mom #1 came from a low-income family. Her parents did not have extra money. A lack of education made it difficult for them to have a career that paid the bills or send their daughter to college. Their work schedule was irregular so they were not able to help her with child-care and sending the children to a
daycare was more expensive than they could bear.
Unfortunately, poverty is often passed on from one generation to the next. Poverty is like being in quicksand; it does not let go easily. Having a network of support with resources is what provides a safety net. It is these resources that can give a family a second chance.
This is why a community response for families experiencing homelessness is extremely important. Supporters, volunteers and donors to Family Promise of Waukesha County can become that network of support that offers the resources that can give a family a hand up.
5. VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Use your leadership skills to shape the future of Family Promise of Waukesha County
Join the Fund Development or Program Committee and play a key role in helping shape the future of Family Promise of Waukesha County. We are seeking individuals with a commitment to ending family homelessness, compassion for families who are vulnerable and a willingness to give of their time to a collaborative effort to increase the impact of our services.
Fund Development Committee
Work with the Executive Director in developing and implementing a comprehensive plan to develop financial and other resources which empower the organization to achieve its mission serving families experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Review, assess, develop and implement services to serve families and single women who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Sept 25 Ambassador Orientation
Sept 25 Family Promise Team Meeting
Sept 26 Finance Committee
Sept 27 Staff Brewer Game Outing
Sept 30 St Bart’s Octoberfest
Oct 16 FP Board of Trustees
Oct 26 Project Homeless Connect
Oct 27 Last day of Community Shelter
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