April 2019
Community Advocates Connections
Friends --

The terrible cold this winter meant that many of us had high energy bills. Fortunately, the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program helps utility customers pay down their bills with a once-a-year benefit. The benefits season ends on May 15, which means that eligible residents should contact the program at 414-270-4653 or keepwarmMKE.org to schedule an appointment. Community Advocates is a proud partner in this life-saving program, which can keep a household going when the budget is tight and warm and safe during the winter. Don't wait!

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
Energy Assistance Benefits Season Ends May 15
Community Advocates is a proud partner in Milwaukee County’s Energy Assistance Program, which helps low-income residents stay warm and connected during the heating season. Although the program provides year-round assistance, the one-time energy assistance benefit season ends May 15.

So there’s no reason to wait: Call the Energy Assistance Line at 414-270-4MKE (4653) or go to keepwarmMKE.org and schedule an appointment at one of the six application sites throughout Milwaukee County. We offer extended hours for the rest of the season, so you can come in early and late, even on Saturday! 
Aren’t sure if you are eligible, or if you can get in before May 15? Give us a call! We can answer your questions if you call us at 414-270-4653.

And don’t forget that additional benefits are available to eligible residents. That includes crisis support, heating upgrades, refrigerator/freezer replacement, insulation, air leak sealing, LED light bulbs, and water-saving devices. The average utility bill savings is $400! So, don’t wait! Call today!

And if you live outside of Milwaukee County, contact the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program at this link .
WGIRLS Milwaukee: A Night Under the Big Top
Friday, May 17
WGIRLS Milwaukee is hosting A Night Under the Big Top , a fundraiser for the Milwaukee Women’s Center , a division of  Community Advocates . All proceeds will support the center’s Emergency Shelter, which gives hope and safety to domestic violence survivors and families with unstable housing. Your presence will help families build the new beginning they deserve. So step right up for an evening of carnival games, cocktails, a silent auction, a wine and beer pull, dancing and live entertainment—featuring performances from aerial dancers and guest DJ Sushi Lor.

This truly unique event will be held on Friday, May 17, from 8 p.m. to midnight, at The Westin Milwaukee Grand Ballroom, 550 N. Van Buren St., Milwaukee, with an after-party at the Milwaukee Brat House to follow.

Tickets are on sale now , with Early Bird pricing until May 5.

Want to sponsor the event or donate a gift basket for the silent auction? Contact wgirls@milwaukee.wgirls.org . Thank you!
Spring Wellness Fair
Saturday, May 11
May is Mental Health Month, so it’s a good time to get inspired, de-stress, and learn more about wellness and the many resources in our area. That’s why Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division are sponsoring a daylong Spring Wellness Fair featuring demonstrations, prizes, free food, and lots of resources and activities. This free community event will be held at Community Advocates’ Training Center, 6900 W. Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. RSVP here so we’ll know you are coming .
A Conversation with Scott Allard,
Author, Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty
We enjoyed a frank discussion of the myths and realities of poverty in the suburbs and cities with Scott Allard, author of Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty , at West Allis City Hall on March 28.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and the City of West Allis sponsored his presentation. Allard’s research shows that there are more people in poverty in the suburbs than in our cities, although our stereotypes of poverty are tied to cities and people of color.

"I think the way we link place and race and poverty promotes bias in understandings of poverty," Allard said.

Allard discussed poverty trends nationwide and in southeastern Wisconsin, noting that suburban poverty surpassed urban poverty at different times during the last two decades in various metro areas.

During Allard’s presentation, participants broke into small groups to discuss questions raised by his research. They talked about the difficulty of finding funding to address basic needs in the suburbs, of finding common links between urban and rural communities, and of identifying resources in the suburbs with established connections. Afterwards, they signed up to connect with PPI’s Senior Policy Advocate Julie Kerksick to continue working on poverty issues in our area.

Did you miss Allard’s presentation? You’ll find a recap and his slides on our blog.
Thank You!
We are thrilled with the response we got to our 48 Hours of Giving campaign last month. Our Match Sponsors Direct Supply and our board of directors stepped up, and the community came forward with contributions, too. The more than $26,000 we raised will help us provide top-notch, no-cost services to men, women, and kids who need help with their basic needs and long-term supports. Thank you for your incredible generosity. We value your support and encouragement!
Direct Supply Senior Idol 2019:
Senior Idol Talent Showcase Auditions
Applications Due April 19
Calling all seniors: Do you have what it takes to perform at Summerfest? Direct Supply hosts the premier talent showcase for seniors ages 55 and up. Select participants will go on to perform during Seniorfest Day at Summerfest on July 3.

Register today! Applications are due April 19. Contact Mandy Clarke at mclarke@directs.com or 414-358-7248 with questions and to register.
Auditions will take place on Monday, May 6 , from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Direct Supply, Champions Hall Auditorium, 6663 N. Industrial Road, Milwaukee, WI 53223. Enter via Mill Road. Good luck!
Mother's Day Cooks Needed
The Milwaukee Women's Center seeks cooks to prepare a meal on Mother's Day for the adults and families served by our emergency shelter, about 50 people total. Interested? Contact Jeri Kavanaugh at jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net or 414-270-2984. Thank you!
We’re Hiring!
If you have a passion for helping people find and keep safe, stable, healthy housing, check out our new job opportunities. Community Advocates is looking for a new Housing Advocate and our Autumn West Safe Haven is in need of a Program Manager. Get details on our career page.
April 19: Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee workshop: April’s topic is legal services, and will feature experts from Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Marquette Legal Clinic, Centro Legal, and Mediate Milwaukee. The workshop will be held at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County from 9 a.m. to 12 noon; materials fee is $5 . Get details and register here.

April 24: Denim Day: Show your support for survivors of sexual violence by wearing denim.

April 27: Drug Take-Back Day: The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MCSAP) is among the sponsors of this Drug Take-Back event organized by Take Back My Meds MKE and Safe & Sound . Bring your unwanted medication to Christ-St. Peter Lutheran School Lot, 2137 W. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee, between noon and 3 p.m. and you could save a life!

May 11: Spring Wellness Fair: Celebrate May as Mental Health Month by attending this day of demonstrations, free food, resources, prizes and more to enhance your wellness and decrease your stress. RSVP here for this free family-friendly event sponsored by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division.

May 15: Energy Assistance Benefits Season ends but our services are provided year-round. Contact us at 414-270-4653 or keepwarmMKE.org to find out how we can help you.

May 17: WGIRLS Milwaukee Presents a Night Under the Big Top, a benefit for Milwaukee Women’s Center. Get details and RSVP here.

May 17: Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee workshop: Programs and services for veterans will be the focus of May’s ECOM workshop. The workshop will be held at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County from 9 a.m. to 12 noon; materials fee is $5. Get details and sign up here.

May 18: 17th Annual NAMIWalks Greater Milwaukee: Register now for this family-friendly event to raise awareness of mental health. Get details here.

We're always adding events to our online calendar. Bookmark it here.
Community Advocates
2019 Board of Directors
President: Sheree Dallas Branch | Public Relations Consultant
Vice President: Jodi Wire | We Energies
Treasurer: Sandra Samse | Johnson Keland Management
Secretary: Bryan House | Foley & Lardner, LLP

Board Members
Marquette Baylor | Aurora Health Care
Anne DeLeo | Community Volunteer
Valerie Gabriel | Community Volunteer
Dr. Stephen Hargarten | Medical College of Wisconsin
Erin Henry | Northwestern Mutual
Betsy Hoylman | Northwestern Mutual
Gary Ingram | Igary Events
Moriah Iverson | Medical College of Wisconsin
Sharon Jordan | Direct Supply
Pamela Klein | Fresh Coast Partners, LLC
Jim Liedtke | Community Volunteer
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates | 414-270-2999  | lkaiser@communityadvocates.net | communityadvocates.net