July 2019
Community Advocates Connections
Friends --

Thank you for staying connected with us! In this month’s newsletter, we’re highlighting the ongoing dedication of Milwaukee Record to the adults, families, and kids who are involved with the Milwaukee Women’s Center. Milwaukee Record has organized multiple inventive fundraisers for the center over the past few years; its next benefit, the Roast of Milwaukee, will be held on July 29. We’re grateful for Milwaukee Record's commitment because we see how much the center’s emergency shelter, substance use disorder treatment programs, and additional services help individuals and families who are overcoming homelessness, substance use disorders, or domestic violence. April, who you’ll meet in this newsletter, has taken control of her life because of the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s services as well as the support of Milwaukee Record and individuals like you who share our mission. Thank you.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
Donor Spotlight: Milwaukee Record's
Ongoing Support of Milwaukee Women's Center
Community Advocates is grateful for the many donors who find unique ways to support the individuals and families we serve. Among those innovative fundraisers is Milwaukee Record -- a local online arts, entertainment, and news resource helmed by co-founder and editor Tyler Maas -- which finds creative ways to support the adults and kids connected to the Milwaukee Women’s Center. Its next fundraiser, the Roast of Milwaukee , will be held on July 29, but it’s also organized the Local Coverage benefit concert and even created a beer, Re-Porter, which provided funds for the center.

"While Milwaukee Record is still a fairly young publication and one of the city's smallest media outlets, I've always thought it was crucial to use our limited voice and whatever reach or influence we may have to make the city we cover a better place to live," Maas told us. "We love Milwaukee, but we can be better. We're capable of more."

The POWER of Personal Connections
Although we live in a world in which almost everyone is glued to their phone and avoids personal contact, it’s helpful to remember that connecting with others in person, around a table, still has tremendous value and can change lives.

Personal connection is one of the impactful components of the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Positive Options for Women Entering Recovery (POWER) program , a no-cost mental health/substance use disorder treatment program for women working toward a better life. Part of the POWER program is sharing experiences with other women and learning from each other.

One of the women who believes in the power of connecting is April, who’s been in the POWER program since the beginning of 2018, when she was struggling with addiction to marijuana and her children were taken out of her care. In POWER’s groups, "I get motivation, counseling, and I get to know other people and know that my situation isn’t any better or worse than anybody else’s," she says. "I sit at a table with women who had been there before or are going through the same things I am going through."

Mirror, Mirror
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? The staff of the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s substance use disorder treatment programs wants participants to see their best selves. To encourage those in treatment, they’ve begun writing inspiring messages on a mirror. Wouldn’t you feel better if you were having a rough day and then read the message "It’s OK not to be OK, just don’t give up" when you looked in the mirror?
Thank You, SISTAS!
We're grateful for everyone who attended performances of LaMer Entertainment’s SISTAS during the July 13-14 weekend and were able to donate to Community Advocates when purchasing tickets. Deavon Collins, who provides substance use disorder treatment at the Milwaukee Women's Center and also serves as community liaison, had a great time meeting attendees and providing information and resources at the Sunday performances. Thank you! 
ECOM on Human Trafficking and Exploitation
The Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee (ECOM), organized by Community Advocates’ housing advocates, provided a platform for three human trafficking experts at its July meeting.

Javier Acevedo-Baez, an anti-trafficking outreach specialist and educator at UMOS/Wisconsin Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Program (WRAP) , explained what human trafficking is, how to spot it, and what to do if you suspect that someone is being exploited. “I-94 has been identified as an artery for sex trafficking,” Acevedo-Baez said, although transportation isn’t necessary for trafficking to occur. Melania Klemowits, executive coordinator of Exploit No More , works to prevent trafficking and provide after-care for survivors. She also raises awareness of the dangers of “pimp culture,” or the normalization of the sexualization of individuals, including minors. Ruby Boggins, executive director of Stop Predators of Trafficking (SPOT), is drawing attention to the experiences of those who have survived trafficking.

If you think someone is being exploited or trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 . Want to learn more about trafficking? UMOS provides a range of workshops , including those targeted to medical professionals, youth service providers, and law enforcement. 

ECOM is taking a break in August, but will return on September 20 with a session on utility services and energy assistance. Get details and RSVP now .
Campaign for Clean Air and Beaches Continues
The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance , which is coordinated by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute , is spending its summer raising awareness of how smoking and vaping pollute our outdoor spaces. Its survey found that 86% of Milwaukeeans want smoke- and vape-free outdoor festivals, which TMJ4 covered during Summerfest . Along with Alliance for the Great Lakes and Plastic-Free MKE, it's been organizing beach cleanups to rid Milwaukee beaches of cigarette butts, which are not biodegradable. Check out the Hold On To Your Butt MKE Facebook page for details. 
Home to Stay Resource Fair
Supports Returned Citizens & Families
Community members returning home after incarceration face a host of obstacles and complications, barriers that can lead them to reoffend and serve more time. That’s why the Milwaukee Reentry Council , a subcommittee of the Milwaukee Community Justice Council coordinated by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute , encourages returned citizens to connect with services and resources that can help them find employment and housing, work through legal issues, jump start their education, and more.

To provide returned citizens and their families with a one-stop-shop for resources, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Milwaukee Community Justice Council launched Home to Stay, a monthly resource event. Community Advocates is among the organizations providing resources at each gathering. Home to Stay has so much potential to help ease the way of returned citizens, the Journal Sentinel wrote about it earlier this month . Reporter Talis Shelbourne quoted one participant saying, "It’s a blessing this program is up and running the way it is. I would have been lost, confused, and possibly doing something that would have gotten me back locked up."

The next Home to Stay will be held Wednesday, August 7, at Employ Milwaukee, 2338 N. 27th St., Milwaukee. Learn more about it at this link , and please help us spread the word.
Calling All Landlords
Community Advocates’ Project Bridge supportive housing program helps disabled or formerly homeless adults live independently with the financial and social assistance to help them succeed. Community Advocates leases and furnishes apartments, then subleases units to participants and connects them with a case manager. We’ve had great support from property owners and managers who participate in the program, and now we’re seeking to expand our pool of potential landlords. If you are interested in learning more about partnering with Community Advocates, please contact David Brown, Project Bridge’s Operations Manager, at 414-270-6933.
Back-to-School Shopping List
It's never too early to get ready for the new school year. We're already putting together school supplies for the students who are guests in our emergency shelter. Can we count on your help?

We’d gratefully accept:

  • Backpacks
  • Back-to-school supplies, such as notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, folders, glue sticks
  • Towels, twin sheets, and blankets
  • Disinfecting wipes and tissue

Please contact Jeri Kavanaugh at jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net or 414-270-2984 if you'd like to contribute. Thank you!
We’re Hiring!
Our Housing Advocates play a critical role in enabling residents to live in safe, stable housing and prevent evictions. We're currently looking for a new Housing Advocate to join our team. Get more details and apply at this link.
July 29: Milwaukee Record & Milwaukee Comedy’s Fifth Annual Roast of Milwaukee: Some of the proceeds of this comedy roast will support Milwaukee Women’s Center. Details at this link .

August 2: Energy Assistance Outreach at Milwaukee Health Department Back to School Health Fair: Learn how to stay connected and save $$ when you stop by this health fair at Washington High School , 2525 N. Sherman Blvd., Milwaukee, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

August 7: Home to Stay Resource Fair: Individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system are invited to this monthly resource and support fair. The August fair will be held on August 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Employ Milwaukee, 2342 N. 27th St., Milwaukee. Get details here .

August 8: Energy Assistance Outreach at Community Health and Resource Fair: Community Outreach Health Centers is organizing this free community event , where you can meet the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Team. It’ll be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at Community Outreach Health Centers, 210 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee.

August 8: LGBTQ+ Youth Substance Use Prevention Summit: Safe & Sound’s 27th Street Drug-Free Communities Project and the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance are organizing their first-ever evening devoted to raising awareness of LGBTQ+ youth and substance use prevention. With a drag show featuring Coco Monet. Learn more and RSVP here for this free community event at Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret.

August 9: Energy Assistance Outreach at Milwaukee Health Department Back to School Health Fair: Learn how to stay connected and save $$ when you stop by this health fair at Journey House , 2110 W. Scott St., Milwaukee, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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