Safe & Stable Homes: Ending Family Homelessness
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Safe & Stable Homes: Ending Family Homelessness

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Everything starts with the home. Whether it’s an address so you can be employed, or being able to stay in the same school all year, or having a place to cook a healthy meal together—we know that the root of all good things is a sense of place and a sense of home. Yet many families in our community don't have a safe and stable home or are one missed rent or mortgage payment away from homelessness.

Ending family homelessness may sound impossible, but it isn't. In reality, there are already a number of service models operating today that provide effective solutions to homelessness. By joining the fight through United Way's Safe & Stable Homes initiative, we will end family homelessness in our community by 2023. 

An end to family homelessness means that every community will have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and one-time experience. 

Donate Advocate 


New and increased gifts to Safe & Stable Homes are doubled by Ascension Wisconsin from 7/1/22 to 6/30/23 up to $100,000.

Voices of Eviction

On August 26, 2021, Wisconsin’s moratorium on evictions ended.

One year later, in Milwaukee, 13,132 families had an eviction filed against them.


MKE Tenant Voices was an inside look at the experiences of tenants who were effected by eviction. Self-paced voice-enabled surveys allowed us to collect, expand, and contextualize data as a means to improve the overall response to evictions and its impact on families and community wellbeing. Community surveys were conducted July-August 2022.

 

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This Work Has Three Key Programs:

image of office with Eviction Free MKE sign

The first is Right to Counsel and United Way’s launch of EvictionFreeMKE. This program provides a family that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines free legal support needed to effectively manage the eviction process. We’ve already seen over 2000 households helped by this program. 

As of September 27, 2022 and since the launch of EvictionFreeMKE, over 3,000 households have been represented.

image of two women and a child

United Way supports the Family Flex Fund, which provides financial support to get people back on their feet immediately and effectively. The program helps cover the costs of rent, outstanding bills, food, transportation, and more. Families also receive assistance from housing case managers who work to determine individualized case plans. 

As of September 27, 2022, over 140 families have been moved from emergency shelters into their own homes using the Family Flex Fund.
 

sign with words Rental Housing Resource Center

United Way supports the operation of the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center. This is a one-stop shop for landlords and tenants. The center connects those in need to the right resources of rent assistance, landlord and tenant mediation, legal aid, and housing search help.

As of September 27, 2022, the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center has facilitated over $100 million in temporary rent assistance funds to 10,000 unique households in partnership with the Social Development Commission.

United Way & Partners Are Also:

  • Maintaining zero unsheltered families in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties.
  • Bolstering up the capacity of pre-eviction tenant/landlord mediation.
  • Embedding housing case managers into our school system and have served 1,000+ family members with wraparound supportive services. 100% of families working with Safe & Stable Homes case managers have remained stably housed.
  • Funding partners across Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties who now collaborate on strategies, best practices, and referrals.
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Our Strategy

United Way has convened an advisory board of experts to examine all angles of homelessness, including root causes, people affected, and proven solutions.

The priorities are to amplify free legal representation for families facing eviction cases, to expand landlord/tenant mediation services across our four-county area, to provide emergency financial assistance and case management for families at risk of eviction or foreclosure, and to support the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center as a central hub of connection to eviction-prevention resources for tenants and landlords.

The Plan
  • Move families from emergency shelters to permanent homes
  • Ensure recently homeless families stay stably housed
  • Prevent family homelessness
Preventing Homelessness Advisory Committee

Preliminary discussions were held with the Milwaukee Continuum of Care, IMPACT, Milwaukee County Housing Division, and the Wisconsin Policy Forum regarding background on the issue, the direction of this initiative and how United Way can best fill gaps in the continuum of funding to end homelessness. Discussions to define scope, metrics, and cross-county success are continuing to be held with the below advisory committee:

Rafael Acevedo, City of Milwaukee
Tim Baack, Pathfinders
Angelina Bailey, Community Member
Mike Bare, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
Eric Collins-Dyke, Milwaukee County Housing Division
Andi Elliot, Community Advocates
Nancy Esteves, Institute for Community Alliances
Kerry Frieberg, Froedtert Health
Jeanne Geraci, Benedict Center
Mark Huber, Advocate Aurora
Emily Kenney, IMPACT
Maudwella Kirkendoll, Community Advocates
Krystina Kohler, United Way
Amy Koltz, Metro Milwaukee Mediation Services, Inc.
Judy Loth, Adullum Family Warming Center
Kristi Luzar, Urban Economic Development Association
Steve Mahan, City of Milwaukee
Angela Mancuso, The Women’s Center
Jim Mathy, Milwaukee County Housing Division
Joy Neilson, State of Wisconsin
Joe Peterangelo, Wisconsin Policy Forum
Joe Pieper, City of Waukesha
Johneisha Prescott, Housing Action Coalition of Waukesha County
Raphael Ramos, Legal Action of Wisconsin
Antwayne Robertson, Waukesha County Health & Human Services
Wendy Weckler, Hope House
Jan Wilberg, Wilberg Community Planning
Joanne Lipo Zovic, Metro Milwaukee Mediation Services, Inc.

Supported Properties Network

This is a network of property owners that want to end homelessness in Greater Milwaukee while keeping their investments clean, safe, and profitable. 

Learn more & join

It's More Than Just Moving People Into Buildings

woman sitting on sofa and video play button overlay on image

After losing her fiancé suddenly, United Way partner Family Promise of Waukesha County helped Sasha and her family stay in their home.

picture of woman in hallway with overlay of video play button

Mercedez was living in a dangerous home that her landlord wouldn’t fix. Safe & Stable Homes partner Legal Aid Society helped her find safe housing.

image of man by sign that says Community Advocates

No family should be experiencing homelessness. Learn more about how we're ending family homelessness by 2023.

Waukesha Overflow Shelter

Shelter beds fill up quickly, especially during cold weather. Learn about the Waukesha Overflow Shelter and how you can help women and families.

 



Wishlists

Help our nonprofit partners during this difficult time as they experience an increased need. View their wish lists below:

Cathedral Center • Family Promise of Waukesha County • FRIENDS Inc. • United Methodist Children's Services •  Walker's Point Youth & Family Center 

Special Thanks to our Safe & Stable Homes Match Sponsor