Updated: Sep 9
This blog provides the top 5 highlights or updates about Family Promise of Waukesha County for Friday, September 8, 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.
The stories you can read this week are:
As we prepare our end of the year fund campaign, which theme is most compelling?
Please note this is a non-binding referendum and for advisory purposes only.
1. SUPPLY DRIVE
We are running out of these items.
Our supplies are running low! In fact below is a photo of our last roll of paper towel. We have named him Terrence. It will be a sad day when he is gone. You can help keep Terrence alive by participating in our supply drive on September 15 and 16! In fact Terrence needs friends so we are hoping you can help us restock our supplies. Our greatest needs are hygiene items, cleaning products, bed linens, and gift cards. Gift cards are also a significant need and are very beneficial to the families we support.
September 15 10am- 4pm
September 16 9am- noon
We also encourage you to collect items at your place of business or organization. Please contact Maria so we are aware a donation will be coming and to schedule drop off. It could be an alternate date.
2. DOES SECTION 8 WORK?
Income-based rent could provide a solution to a lack of affordable housing.
Section 8 Housing Vouchers is a federally funded program, administered at a local level, that allows tenants to pay no more than 30% of their income for rent. The federal funds set aside pay the remainder of the rent. It is a program in high demand, so it is not uncommon for clients who qualify for a voucher to wait years to receive one. In Waukesha County, the current wait list is 7,000 households. For those who do not believe that there is poverty and need in Waukesha County, this is another piece of evidence that there is great need. The funds allocated to Waukesha from HUD have already been assigned, so there will not be new Section 8 recipients for some time.
A recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel documented how many tenants are struggling with the way their vouchers are being administered. If the income of a Section 8 voucher recipient decreases, then their rent should decrease as well. If their income increases, so will the rent they pay. When changes are not being made on a timely basis, tenants may pay more than they should... or pay less than they owe and end up with a large bill months later. A few clients who applied for rent assistance have done so because they were unable to manage a large bill after their income went up but their rent did not change until months later.
The Section 8 voucher system could be a relief to those seeking affordable housing. This past fall, fifteen Section 8 vouchers were set aside for households experiencing homelessness. Family Promise was able to refer clients for the program. Three families were accepted. None of them were actually able to use their voucher. Unfortunately, they all had trouble finding landlords who would accept them, or if they found an apartment, the rent set by the landlord was higher than the limits set by HUD. The parameters of the program have not kept up with the recent increase in rental prices.
Two things need to happen to make Section 8 a more effective opportunity. First, additional federal funds are needed to reduce the wait list, and second, more landlords willing to receive the vouchers are needed.
3. NEW FAMILIES IN SHELTER
Update on our services through the end of August
In our first two weeks of September five new families are entering our shelter. Four of these families are going into the Apartment Shelter while one has entered the Community Shelter. With the Community Shelter coming to an end on October 27, we will not bring in any more new families in that program. As of August 31 we have provided shelter to 19 families including 23 adults and 42 children.
Through the prevention program we have served 48 families including 62 adults and 93 children. With 167 applications we are on pace to receive 250 applications for 2023. In June we added an Intake Coordinator. This person processes all the applications for financial assistance. One of the reasons was to free the Case Managers to focus on the needs of their clients. Our observation is that allowing our case managers the ability to focus has led to clients being more engaged in the process.
These infographics provide you will the statistics for our prevention and shelter programs for the month of August.
4. FAMILY PROMISE WAUKESHA TRIVIA
Win breakfast with Joe!
Let’s have some fun! The link below provides a quiz about homelessness, affordable housing and Family Promise of Waukesha County. Answers can be found in our section about statistics, previous editions of the Friday Five or this article from National Low Income Housing Coalition. We hope it will be both fun and informative.
Winners can receive a breakfast with Joe (or your favorite FP Staff person) at a mutually agreeable time. If there is a tie, a drawing will be held between all those who had the top score. It is necessary to include your email in the quiz so we can contact you for your prize.
POLL OF THE WEEK
5. WAYS TO GIVE
Start planning your end of year gift
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” - John Bunyan
Soon, it will be the end of the year and time for our End of the Year Appeal! We hope you will consider a generous gift to support the mission of Family Promise of Waukesha County and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness. In 2023 we will set a record for the number of families served in shelter over our nine year history. This also means that our expenses to provide support to families experiencing homelessness have increased more than $200,000. It is likely we will have a deficit for 2023. For us to position ourselves to maintain the same level of service in 2024 we will need your help. We ask you to begin thinking and reflecting on how you can help Family Promise of Waukesha County between now and December 31, 2023. Here are some ways you can provide a gift:
Provide a recurring monthly gift
If 70.5 years of age, use your required minimum distribution to contribute
Include Family Promise of Waukesha County in your estate plans
Interested in discussing any of these options please contact Joe Nettesheim
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Sept 15 Supply Drive 10am-4pm 139 E North Street
Sept 16 Supply Drive 9am-noon 139 E North Street
Sept 17 Presentation at Evangelical and Reformed Church, Waukesha
Sept 18 Board of Trustees Meeting
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA. JUST CLICK THE ICONS BELOW.
Access our Threads account through Instagram
You can also join our Facebook volunteer group to learn about volunteer opportunities.