May 2019
Community Advocates Connections
Friends --

We're thrilled that WGIRLS Milwaukee, a philanthropic organization for professional women, has selected Community Advocates' Milwaukee Women's Center as the beneficiary of their A Night Under the Big Top fundraiser on Friday, May 17. These passionate, creative women are aiming to raise $50,000 for the adults and kids in our emergency shelter who are rebuilding their lives after domestic violence and homelessness. WGIRLS Milwaukee realized their mission of empowering women and children matches the Milwaukee Women's Center's mission, and a wonderful partnership was born. Please join us at A Night Under the Big Top on Friday -- it's a truly one-of-a-kind event! -- and supporting the survivors in our care at our shelter. Thank you.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
A Night Under the Big Top this Friday
to Benefit Milwaukee Women's Center's Emergency Shelter
Tickets are still available for A Night Under the Big Top , a fundraiser for the Milwaukee Women’s Center organized by WGIRLS Milwaukee . Their goal is to raise a whopping $50,000 for the adults and kids staying in our Emergency Shelter – and with your help, they can do it!

This is a truly unique carnival-themed event featuring a performance by Bottom Up Aerial Dancers, guest DJ Sushi Lor, hard-to-find raffle prizes (including Ariana Grande tickets and a football helmet signed by Bryan Bulaga), silent auction packages, wine and beer pull, dancing, a cash bar, and shuttle service to the after-party at the Milwaukee Brat House.

Purchase your tickets online or at the door and we’ll see you on Friday.

Can’t make it? You can donate here. Thank you for your support!
Milwaukee Women’s Center Never Misses a Beat
In addition to operating an emergency shelter for adults and kids impacted by domestic violence and homelessness, the Milwaukee Women’s Center offers no-cost substance use disorder treatment programs for women and families that serve the whole person — body, mind, and spirit.

In April, the women in the Positive Options for Women Entering Recovery (POWER) program were treated to a demonstration of Neuromuscular Integrative Action (NIA), a movement practice, to help them relieve stress, heal, and relax. The dozen women learning NIA from instructor Bethamie L. Wyatt "felt a release, energized, rejuvenated, and spiritually lifted," said Deavon Collins, a Substance Abuse Counselor and Community Liaison at the Center. The women have already requested another session with Bethamie.
To draw attention to Denim Day and show support for survivors of sexual violence, women in the POWER program decorated jeans donated from the Bottomless Closet, a project organized by Adeline Pressie, AODA Counselor. The women took time to focus on their own trauma and find ways to heal themselves and others through their creativity. The jeans were displayed inside and outside the POWER offices and throughout the City of Milwaukee.

Next Door Milwaukee’s book giveaway at the center’s shelter in April, organized by Collins as part of her community liaison work, was a big hit. A few dozen families were able to pick out books ranging from Bibles to motivational texts to picture books. A big thank you goes out to Next Door for their generosity and reading advocacy!
PPI’s Conor Williams to Receive MICAH Award
Congratulations go out to Conor Williams, an Economic and Policy analyst at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute who will be recognized with the Distinguished Leadership Award from MICAH at its 2019 Celebration on May 23, "We Still Have a Dream." At PPI, Conor organizes the Milwaukee Transitional Jobs Collaborative , the Healthy Workers, Healthy Wisconsin initiative, and the Milwaukee Reentry Council , and is helping to form Circles of Support for returning citizens and allied community members. Conor is receiving this award "in recognition of the work he has done, both in his church and in the broader community, to move MICAH and the City of Milwaukee closer to the vision of the Beloved Community that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of so often," MICAH noted in its announcement.
"We’re thrilled that Conor is being recognized for his devotion to serving community members who are overlooked but deserve to be seen, understood, and embraced," said Kari Lerch, Deputy Director of Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

You can celebrate MICAH and Conor’s achievements at MICAH’s gathering on Thursday, May 23, at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa. Also receiving an award is Dr. Latish Reed, MPS Equity Specialist; the keynote speaker is Pastor Walter Lanier of Progressive Baptist Church. Get details and tickets at this link.
Circles of Support Seek Participants
One facet of Conor Williams’ work with returning citizens is his assistance in launching and expanding Circles of Support throughout Milwaukee for those touched by the criminal justice system. These circles explore hope, healing, and accountability in restorative justice-style gatherings that include returned citizens, community members, and a circle keeper. An evening meal is shared before the circle forms.

Circles of Support gather at:

  • Hephatha Lutheran Church, 2906 N. 18th St., Milwaukee
  • St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, 1015 N. Ninth St., Milwaukee
  • Community Advocates, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee
  • Project RETURN, 2821 Vel R. Phillips Ave., Suite 223, Milwaukee
  • St. Vincent de Paul, WCTC Campus Building W, 892 Main St., Pewaukee

See the flyer below for details about times and dates.

In addition, a weekly Peer Support Circle gathers at Project RETURN every Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., and welcomes new participants whose lives have been impacted by incarceration and supervision.

Interested in joining a circle? Contact Amanda Smit at 414-374-8029 or 414-858-6885 or .
Direct Supply's Golden Idol 2019
Will Feature Community Advocates’ David Brown
It’s been years since David Brown sang onstage in front of a big audience. Although he’d performed with Skylight Music Theatre and the Fireside Theatre after earning a degree in theater, in recent years he’s focused on his work as Operations Manager for our Project Bridge supportive housing program and sang upon request, such as at Project Bridge’s holiday celebration.

Then came the audition earlier this month for Golden Idol , the Direct Supply -sponsored talent competition for those ages 55 and up. David rehearsed at home and stepped into the spotlight with his version of "Honeysuckle Rose."

"I was a little nervous," David said, "but I thought it would be a chance for me to get on stage again."

If you’ve heard David sing, you won't be surprised to learn that he made it to the finals, to be held on SeniorFest Day, July 3, at Summerfest. Congratulations, David. And good luck in the finals!
Extra Luggage Needed for Shelter Residents
When you're cleaning closets this spring and come across luggage, overnight bags, gym bags, diaper bags or backpacks you don't use anymore, consider donating them to the Milwaukee Women's Center. Most of our emergency shelter residents arrive with just the clothes on their backs or with their belongings in garbage bags. We provide them with clothing and essentials if they need them. We'd also love to allow them to leave the shelter with dignity. That means with a proper suitcase or bag in which to carry to their belongings.

Interested in donating an extra bag?

Contact Jeri Kavanaugh at or 414-270-2984.

We're also looking for small groups who would like to donate food or prepare a meal for our shelter residents. Jeri can explain the details, so contact her with questions.

Thank you!
We’re Hiring!
We're looking for a new Client Support Specialist at our Milwaukee Women's Center Emergency Shelter. If you want to be an ally to adults and kids transforming their lives, this position is for you. Apply by May 20.
May 15: Energy Assistance Benefits Season ends but our services are provided year-round. Contact us at 414-270-4653 or 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.

May 27: Our offices will be closed to observe Memorial Day, but our 24/7 sites will remain open.

June 19: Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Outreach at Juneteenth Day Milwaukee Street Festival. Celebrate with us!

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  | |