December 2018
Community Advocates Connections
Happy Holidays!

Thanks to your generosity, care, and concern, this promises to be the most wonderful time of the year for our community members. Community Advocates is honored to receive holiday donations for our individuals and families in need, and we're also delighted to gather together to celebrate our achievements, whether they're advocating for policy changes to enable more people to find employment or being there for someone who is transforming their life. We are awed by all of the ways that our community is coming together to create a more promising future for all of us. Thank you for your support throughout 2018. Our community is stronger because of you.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
A Special Evening for Men in Transformation
Men and women who are working to end intimate partner violence and improve relationships and families celebrated in style at the 11th Annual Awards and Appreciation Dinner hosted by the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Nevermore Batterers’ Intervention and Prevention Program and Community Advocates’ New Pathways for Fathers and Families initiative . The celebration was sponsored by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute .

Nevermore Program Manager Steve Thomas welcomed the men, their families, program staff, and supporters at this family-friendly dinner, which also offered delicious food, a silent auction, a wonderful band, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a lot of good vibes.

Thomas also singled out the women who help to keep the program going and support the men who are working to transform their lives. In turn, Community Advocates CEO Andi Elliott surprised Thomas with a gift and praised him as "inspiring." She said the participants of these programs truly earned this holiday celebration.

"I've had the opportunity to be in one of the sessions and I can’t even tell you how inspiring it is to hear the depth of realization that the guys in the group are coming up with and sharing," Elliott said. "It's so inspiring. We call it the Milwaukee Women's Center but it's also men, women, and children, too, because we’re working with everyone who is affected and embracing everybody and strengthening everybody." 
Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Celebrated
Milwaukee’s Transitional Jobs programs celebrated their achievements this month and also said farewell and thank you to Secretary of Children and Families Eloise Anderson, who championed Transitional Jobs as a way to preserve families and provide a path to permanent employment for disadvantaged job seekers.

On December 6, the 30-member Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Collaborative was presented with the Rev. Herbert Huebschmann Urban Ministry Award at the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee’s 48th Annual Luncheon.
The Collaborative was recognized "for providing pathways to self-reliance and dignity for thousands of people in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin who face impediments to employment, including many with prison records, by advocating for publicly subsidized transitional jobs that lead to non-subsidized employment."

The Collaborative also celebrated its successes and recognized its partner agencies and participants at its December 11 gathering hosted by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

"Transitional jobs are an effective policy to get people connected to work and get them on the first step of the ladder of economic opportunity," Community Advocates Public Policy Institute's Conor Williams, who facilitates the Collaborative, told the audience.
Wisconsin’s Transitional Jobs initiatives began in 2009, when a group of local leaders, including the Public Policy Institute’s founding director, David Riemer, asked what they could do to get people into work during the Great Recession, just as the federal government provided jobs during the Great Depression. The Public Policy Institute advocated for including short-term, subsidized jobs in the state budget as a small pilot project in Milwaukee. Since then, Transitional Jobs have expanded statewide and more than 6,000 disadvantaged workers have used Transitional Jobs as a path to unsubsidized employment.

Eric Knox did just that and is now self-employed as the owner of a construction company that he started with his partner.

"Transitional jobs have been a big stepping stone for me and getting my life on the right track," Knox said. "Hopefully I will have a chance to hire other people and give them the opportunity I had."
MICAH's Rev. Joseph Ellwanger, chair of the Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Collaborative, recognized Secretary Anderson. "She really stood up and said this is absolutely important and we are going to do it. And she is the champion who helped to keep the Transitional Jobs program in the budget when there were folks who were literally pushing it out of the budget."
Secretary Anderson said she supports Transitional Jobs because employment enables partners to get married and families to stay together. "Over the past 50 years, we've spent a lot of money on mothers, getting her ready and independent and self-sufficient, but we've spent almost zero money on fathers."
A Big Coat Donation
Just in time for the cold weather, John and Jeff from  the Lincoln, Nebraska-based e-commerce company Spreetail  visited our Autumn West Safe Haven to donate 80 amazing winter coats for our community members who are experiencing street homelessness. Spreetail purchased the coats from The Empowerment Plan , a Detroit nonprofit that hires single parents from local shelters and provides them with full-time employment. Their EMPWR coats are water-resistant and can transform into a sleeping bag or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag. Community Advocates' Homeless Outreach Nursing Center staff,  Outreach Community Health Centers , and Milwaukee County DHHS Housing Division Outreach Services Team will be distributing them and are very grateful for Spreetail's generosity. 
An Act of Kindness Gets National Recognition
Did you hear the story of Milwaukee County Transit System driver Natalie Barnes and Richard , a bus passenger who'd just lost his home? Local and national news outlets covered this example of generosity and compassion, and Time magazine just recognized Natalie as an "everyday hero."

In October, Natalie contacted Community Advocates to help her passenger Richard find warmth and a new place to stay after his house was condemned. We are pleased that Natalie knew that we were a trusted resource for community members like Richard who are struggling to meet their basic needs. And we applaud Natalie for showing kindness and compassion to her passenger in need.
Celebrating in Style
The holidays truly aren't complete without a big holiday party for members of our supportive housing programs at Our Savior's Lutheran Church on West Wisconsin Avenue. This year, Community Advocates staff helped to serve turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes, green beans, cranberries, peach cobbler, and decorated cookies to a very lively crowd. After enjoying the meal, Project Bridge Operations Manager David Brown led the Christmas carols, and presents donated through the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County Holiday Giving Tree were opened. We're so grateful for all who contributed to and volunteered at this celebration and wish everyone a very Happy Holidays.
A Very Heartfelt Thank You
Three local corporations gave generously to Community Advocates' programs this fall. The Brady Corporation Foundation gifted $25,000 and We Energies Foundation gave $15,000 to our Autumn West Safe Haven/Homeless Outreach Nursing Center, which will enable us to continue to provide client-centered street outreach and transitional housing for our community members who are experiencing homelessness. In addition, Northwestern Mutual/Women’s Employee Resource Group has donated $25,000 to our Milwaukee Women’s Center, which enables men, women, and children to thrive after homelessness, domestic violence, or substance abuse.

"The individuals and families we serve will definitely feel the impact of these three gifts," said Andi Elliott, Community Advocates CEO. "These gifts will help us to provide safety, support, and dignity to those who need some help while on their path to independence and well-being. I can't thank these donors enough for their generosity."

"The Brady Foundation is proud to support Community Advocates and the Autumn West Safe Haven Program," said Kate Venne, Director of Corporate Communications at Brady Corporation. "Not only does this program provide critical services to chronically homeless men and women, but they have strong outcomes and use proven methods to reach our city's most vulnerable. A grant to Community Advocates' Autumn West Safe Haven program is a great investment for Brady, as we know the work will continue to strengthen the Milwaukee community."

"The We Energies Foundation focuses on creating a brighter future for the communities we serve, and Community Advocates' programs and services support that mission by helping Milwaukee families meet their basic needs. It's an organization that makes a positive community impact," said Beth Straka, Vice President of the We Energies Foundation and Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at WEC Energy Group, the holding company of We Energies. "We are happy to support their efforts." 

"The Northwestern Mutual Women's Employee Resource Group is proud to provide support for Community Advocates and the Milwaukee Women's Center through volunteer efforts and donations," said Tiffanie McClain, Northwestern Mutual WERG Community Outreach. "We are committed to strengthening our home community and the lives of Milwaukee residents. We hope our support will create a positive and lasting impact on our city."
2018-2019 Warming Room Resources
When winter weather hits, local organizations open their doors to our community members who are experiencing homelessness. The Milwaukee Continuum of Care has created this warming room guide for this winter. We thank all of the groups who are ensuring that our friends and neighbors in need are staying safe this winter.
Sometimes the Season is the Reason
Although the holidays can be a joyous time, the season can also increase stress and unhealthy behaviors and emotions. The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MCSAP), which is coordinated by the Public Policy Institute , asks all of us to "be known to someone" who may be struggling right now. The coalition released their holiday PSA to encourage individuals to reach out to others during the holidays.
Thank You for Your Giving Tuesday Gifts
Thanks to you, our Giving Tuesday was bright! Your generosity will help us provide services and support for the men, women, and children in our care, especially those who are staying in our Milwaukee Women's Center emergency shelter and our supportive housing programs. Thank you!
Women Harley Riders Support the Milwaukee Women’s Center
House of Harley-Davidson partnered with the Milwaukee Women’s Center on their 2019 Women Riders Calendar. The calendar features 12 women motorcycle riders that were selected based on top votes on the House of Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page. All of the proceeds from this calendar go to support the work of the Milwaukee Women’s Center.

The women in this calendar represent the strength, grit, power and endurance that aligns with the mission of Community Advocates’ Milwaukee Women’s Center .

"Each day the Milwaukee Women's Center strives to empower women to live their best lives and succeed on their own terms. We’re grateful for the support of House of Harley and the women riders celebrated in this calendar," said Andi Elliott, CEO of Community Advocates.

The 2019 calendars have already sold out, but if you like House of Harley on Facebook you'll be able to learn about the 2020 calendar as soon as it's available.
Thank Your for Caring about Our Neighbors in Need
Even with a healthy economy, many of the individuals and families Community Advocates serves are struggling to make ends meet. During this season of giving, your kindness will help us provide client-centered care and services so families in need can access and maintain their housing and keep their heat and lights on as their weather turns colder. Thank you for caring about our neighbors in need.
Every Nine Seconds...
A Life is Affected by Domestic Violence
Each year, the Milwaukee Women's Center touches the lives of nearly 2,000 men, women, and children in our community. Our Emergency Shelter is the foundation of our work providing safety and support to help survivors live their lives free of violence. And our Nevermore program works with men to change behaviors that have hurt those closest to them. Please support hope and healing in all of the lives affected by domestic violence by making a generous donation today. Your gift will change lives.
December 21: The Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee (ECOM), organized by Community Advocates' Housing Department, invites all to this planning meeting to draw up the 2019 ECOM schedule. Details here .

December 24 & 25: Community Advocates’ offices will be closed for the Christmas Holidays, but our 24/7 sites will remain open.

December 31 & January 1: Community Advocates’ offices will be closed for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but our 24/7 sites will remain open.

January 18: Milwaukee Record presents Local Coverage: Milwaukee Record once again selected the Milwaukee Women’s Center as the beneficiary of this one-of-a-kind event featuring local musicians covering other local acts’ songs at Turner Hall. Details here.

We're always adding events to our online calendar. Bookmark it here.
Community Advocates
2018 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
Esther Shin | Urban Strategies
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates | 414-270-2999  | |