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.

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The Facts

How prevalent is family homelessness in our four-county region? 
In our four county community over 5,700 people experiencing homelessness accessed emergency shelter in 2017.

Why are families struggling with homelessness?
One of the reasons is the affordable housing wage gap.

Affordable Housing Wage Gap

To be able to afford a two bedroom home in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, or Waukesha County, a person would need to earn $17.52 per hour, yet the average renter wages for those counties are $16.44, $11.51, $12.50, and $14.33, respectively.

Homelessness in our four-county community

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 2021 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

Addressing Eviction


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.



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