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FRIDAY FIVE : THE HIDDEN HOMELESS


This blog provides the top 5 highlights or updates about Family Promise of Waukesha County for Friday, October 20, 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



PHOTOS OF THE WEEK


Family Promise of Waukesha staff celebrated Courtney with a baby shower; WINGS a women's group from St. Jerome, Oconomowoc provided a truck load of supplies;



Should the Friday Five have a name that is more indicative of our mission? Which name would you choose?


 

1. HOUSED

Shelter family signed a lease this week



No one who comes to Family Promise of Waukesha County has an easy time. Imagine losing everything. Challenges that happen to all of us have dire consequences for those with limited resources. We watch family after family get pushed down due to crisis after crisis. And then because of their inspiring strength and resilience get back up again.


The road to housing and out of poverty is difficult. This is why we celebrate when families find housing. Congratulations to Shateria for signing a lease this week! We are grateful to Shateria for her willingness to share her story by answering the following questions.



How challenging was it to find housing?

It was so hard! For a while, I didn’t think that I was going to find anything in Waukesha County. The rent prices were high, I didn’t have “enough” credit, or the landlords didn’t want to accept rental assistance. I honestly thought I would have to live in my car with my two small kids. I must have heard “NO” 20 times before I finally found someone to say “YES.”

Click the button below to read the rest of the blog.



 

2. THE HIDDEN HOMELESS

Statistics on homeless students in Waukesha County



Often people do not believe there are families experiencing homelessness in Waukesha County. One place that data can be gathered is from school districts. Most school districts track students they identify as experiencing homelessness. The challenge is that many families put great effort into hiding their homelessness. They do so to avoid the stigma associated with homelessness. Plus it is challenging to be homeless in a wealthy community.




One family in our shelter lived in their car for months without ever allowing the children’s teachers to know. They bought a membership to the Y so they had a place to shower.


This week Joe Nettesheim met with social workers from the Oconomowoc School District. They shared that anywhere from 20-30 students could be living in their car or in a hotel.


One family was paying $100 a night for a hotel room. What makes this more difficult is that paying for a hotel room does not qualify as homeless according to Housing and Urban Development, which means there are many services for which they are not eligible. These are often the families that we serve -- the Hidden Homeless.


The school districts group students experiencing homelessness into the following categories. They are: doubled up, living in a hotel, living in a car/street or unknown. Here is a chart of school districts and the number of homeless students from 2021-22.



 

3. TEN QUESTIONS WITH JOE NETTESHEIM

To celebrate Family Promise week, Joe answers some questions about FP


October 15-22 is Family Promise Week. This annual celebration occurs in October to coincide with Karen Olson starting the organization in 1986 in New Jersey. First begun as the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Family Promise has served over 1 million individuals and 187,000 families over the past 37 years. In Waukesha County we have been serving families since 2014. To raise awareness of our work and to answer some frequently asked questions, Joe Nettesheim will share with you ten common questions he often hears about Family Promise of Waukesha County and his answers. Some of the questions are:

  • What are the programs currently offered by Family Promise of Waukesha County?

  • What are your shelter programs?

  • Are volunteers still involved?

  • Will you return to the Rotational Model of Shelter?

  • Do you serve individuals with a criminal record?

  • What is the biggest challenge facing families experiencing homelessness?

  • What has been your greatest joy?

  • What has been your greatest sadness?

  • How has the organization managed growth and change over the past few years?

  • What is next for Family Promise?


Click the button below to read Joe's answers.

Do you have a question for Joe about Family Promise of Waukesha County. You can reach out to him via email: joe@familypromisewaukeshawi.org or SMS: 262-278-4868.


 

POLL OF THE WEEK


Should the Friday Five have a name that is more indicative of our mission? If so, which one would you choose?

  • 0%Nah, it’s good

  • 0%Yes. Family Promise Five

  • 0%Yes. Keeping the Promise

  • 0%Yes. The Promise of Hope

You can vote for more than one answer.




 

4. I LIVE IN MY CAR

Social Worker making $70,000 a year experiencing homelessness



Making $70,000 or more should be enough to afford a home. That is not the case for this mom who is living in her car. This NY Times article profiles her experience and how she became homeless. The reporter shadowed her and then wrote about what she witnessed. What is presented is a familiar story to us. A car repair, “a combination of bad luck, bad debt and a bad credit score priced her out of her apartment in Bellevue, another suburb of Seattle.”


“We have to get out of this,” Ms. Audet said to herself as she pulled a comforter against the cold and struggled to fall asleep in a parking lot in Kirkland, Wash.


When you read this story note well, it very well could be in Waukesha, WI.


 

5. CONGRATULATIONS, KELLY!

Kelly Hawkins getting married this weekend



Congratulations to Kelly Hawkins and her fiancee, Ranjit Yerramstty who are getting married this Saturday!






We are all so excited and happy for Kelly as she begins her married life. Kelly joined Family Promise in November 2022. Her commitment to social justice is inspiring. She is a woman of compassion and deep car


e for all the families we serve. Wishing you all the best. May you and Ranj love happily ever after.







 

WISH LIST


Our two biggest needs this week are:





 

HELP WANTED: SHELTER ADVOCATE


Family Promise of Waukesha County is hiring additional shelter advocates for the Emergency Overflow Shelter.



 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS





Oct 27 Last day of Community Shelter


 

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA. JUST CLICK THE ICONS BELOW.


Access our Threads account through Instagram

@family.promise.waukesha@threads.net




You can also join our Facebook volunteer group to learn about volunteer opportunities.


 

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