April-May 2022
Community Advocates Connections

Throughout our 45+ years, Community Advocates has aimed to help individuals and families address their problems early, before they turn into crises that can wreak havoc on their stability and well-being. Our focus on prevention and empowerment is expanding through the five-year Stronger Families Milwaukee program, through which we are working with vulnerable families to prevent child maltreatment. We're excited about the potential of this program to reduce instability at home, improve family relationships, and enable kids and parents to thrive. As always, we are grateful for your support and partnership as we work toward a better future for all.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
New Resource for Milwaukee Families Launched
at Community Advocates
In April, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Emilie Amundson visited Community Advocates to help launch the Stronger Families Milwaukee program, a new five-year prevention initiative developed by DCF to reduce child maltreatment and keep more families together in safe, stable, and nurturing homes.
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute is serving as the lead agency for the Stronger Families Milwaukee Consortium, in partnership with Neu-Life Community Development and The Parenting Network.
This pilot project also aligns with the statewide observance of April as Strengthening Families Month to emphasize the potential within every family to build stronger, more nurturing bonds. April had formerly been known as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.
This family-centered, strengths-based program utilizes a combination of case management services and peer advocates to assist families in finding community supports that fit their needs and help them thrive in-home.
It also signals a new vision of what DCF and local partners can do to support families struggling with parenting and household challenges. Instead of reacting after a child is harmed or is found to be living in a potentially dangerous situation, the Stronger Families Milwaukee program aims to prevent those crises from occurring in the first place.
“Extensive research has shown us the most effective way to prevent child abuse and neglect is to provide upstream support to families so children can grow up in environments that support their well-being,” Secretary Amundson said. “Simply put – we need to help families find and build their strengths and devote more resources to support families before abuse or neglect occurs. To do this, we have been working to transform our child welfare system into one that uplifts and empowers families.”
We Are Here to Help Tenants & Property Owners

If you have questions about an application status or need to pick up or drop off documents, we are here to help. The Emergency Rent Assistance Program is open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at our downtown offices, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, for those who prefer to come in person. You can also call 414-270-4646 or email renthelp@communityadvocates.net.

The Milwaukee RHRC Triage Team accepts walk-in appointments Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Community Advocates offices, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee. The RHRC Triage Team can assess your situation and make referrals so you can get the help you need. You can also call 414-895-RENT (7368), email info@renthelpmke.org, or visit the RHRC website for more information.

Are you a landlord and need help? Email landlord@communityadvocates.net
Mother’s Day Generosity
Stacie Oakes and her friends made Mother’s Day GREAT at the Milwaukee Women’s Center. The brunch included chicken, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, hash browns, pasta, vegetables, fruit, cookies and donuts. They set up arts and crafts stations for the children to personalize cards for their moms. They also provided bags and an assortment of small gifts for the children to fill the bags and gift to their moms along with $100 Target gift cards for each of them. We're sending a big THANK YOU to Stacie and her pals for thinking of our guests at the Milwaukee Women’s Center on Mother’s Day.
Another thank you goes out to Two Men and a Truck, who as part of their Movers for Moms campaign collected donations for the guests at our Milwaukee Women’s Center Emergency Shelter in honor of Mother's Day. We're truly grateful for their generosity! 
New Workshop!
10 Tips to Reduce Conflict:
Practical Verbal De-Escalation Techniques
June 21 & June 22
Do you want to learn how to defuse a situation before it spirals out of control? Do you want to understand why and how conflict builds and what you can do to resolve it? During this two-hour virtual workshop, you will learn how to increase safety by utilizing verbal de-escalation techniques. This Zoom workshop, to be held on June 21 and June 22, is free and open to anyone who lives or works in Milwaukee County. Get details and check out all of our mental health and wellness workshops at this link..
Community Advocates' Wish List
Can you help Community Advocates and the Milwaukee Women's Center meet the needs of our program participants? We serve families and individuals who have experienced homelessness or domestic violence, and most of them come into shelter or our Autumn West Safe Haven with few belongings. We're currently seeking these items for our guests:

  • Twin sheets
  • Blankets
  • Socks, boys and girls, men and women
  • New underwear for all ages, from toddlers to adults
  • New pillows
  • Tennis shoes for boys, girls, men, and women
  • New or gently used towels
  • Pots and pans, utensils, dishes, blankets, and other household items

In addition, we are collecting household items and clothing for a Community Advocates employee who lost everything in a house fire.

If you are able to give, please reach out to Jeri at jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net to ensure receipt of your donation. Thank you!
Memorial Day
Community Advocates' offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, to observe Memorial Day. Our 24/7 sites, Milwaukee Women's Center Emergency Shelter and Autumn West Safe Haven, will remain open. If you are experiencing a domestic violence situation, call our 24-hour crisis line at 414-671-6140. If you need help with basic needs, contact 2-1-1.
Community Advocates’ Services and Resources
You can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Community Advocates
2022 Board of Directors
President: Jodi Wire | We Energies
Vice President: Bryan House | Foley & Lardner, LLP
Treasurer: Sandra Samse | Community Volunteer
Secretary: Sharon Jordan | Direct Supply

Board Members
Sheree Dallas Branch | The Salvation Army
Anne DeLeo | Community Volunteer
Natasha Dotson | Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative
Valerie Gabriel | Community Volunteer
Erin Henry | Northwestern Mutual
Gary Ingram | Igary Events
Pamela Klein | Community Volunteer
Jim Liedtke | Community Volunteer
Ashley Pavlic | Medical College of Wisconsin
Alexandra Urrutia-Comas | Advocate Aurora Health
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates | 414-270-2999  | lkaiser@communityadvocates.net | communityadvocates.net