Beth and Scott had less than an hour to evacuate their home. They piled what they could into bins and boxes before heading out into an uncertain future.
On December 2, 2021, the city of Waukesha called for an emergency evacuation of a four-story condo building in the downtown area. The building had been experiencing foundation issues, but Beth, Scott, and the other residents were shocked to learn that it was no longer safe to live there.
“Homelessness really can happen to anybody, at any time, for any reason. We are anybody,” said Beth. “One day you think things are stable and then literally the ground beneath you is not there anymore.”
Beth, Scott, and many other evacuees did not have family or friends nearby to stay with or insurance to cover a hotel stay. That’s when the American Red Cross stepped in.
For more than 80 years, United Way has supported the disaster recovery and relief efforts of American Red Cross of Southeastern Wisconsin. Your donation to United Way’s Community Fund allows Red Cross to help 886 families just like Beth and Scott’s recover from home fires, natural disasters, and other crises last year.
Beth and Scott moved to a temporary Red Cross shelter set up in Elmbrook Church. There, they received meals, snacks, and support on their journey to finding a new home and recovering their lives.
“It was a comfort…knowing that we were secure, somewhere for the meantime where we could be OK,” said Scott.
Red Cross volunteers helped Beth and Scott take achievable daily steps in their recovery plan; what they could handle today, tomorrow, and further down the road.
Less than three weeks later, Beth and Scott moved into a new home in Mukwonago. A “Happy Place” doormat welcomes visitors.
Said Beth: “This feels more like home every day and it feels like our life is improving every day. At least going forward, we have stability and that started with being at the shelter and having people to walk us through a plan. We couldn’t have done that on our own.”
When you give to United Way, you're not just making a donation. You're changing a life. Beth, Scott, and American Red Cross show us all that, to live better, we must Live United.