May/June 2020
Community Advocates Connections

I hope that you and your family, colleagues, and friends are safe and well. Two public health crises -- the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism -- continue to impact our lives in ways big and small. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter-led protests in Milwaukee and around the nation, Community Advocates recommitted ourselves to honoring, supporting, and advocating for our community members, especially communities of color, whose dignity has not been recognized historically and at this present moment.  You can read our full message to the community at this link .

Milwaukee, like other cities around the country, is facing a potential "tidal wave" of evictions that threatens the health, safety, and stability of thousands of tenants. Seeing an opportunity to prevent an eviction crisis, Community Advocates and our partners have launched a virtual version of the Rental Housing Resource Center to provide rent assistance and other resources to individuals and families whose livelihood has been impacted by the pandemic.

I’d also like to share that Community Advocates' offices on Lovell Street, Fond du Lac Avenue, and Brown Deer Road remain closed to the public until we open our doors again when it is safe for our staff, volunteers, and guests to meet in person. Staff at these locations are providing services via phone and email to ensure that needs are being met. Our 24/7 sites – including the Milwaukee Women’s Center's Emergency Shelter and the Autumn West Safe Haven -- are open and staff are following best guidance on health and safety. Our homeless outreach team is taking steps to safely connect with individuals experiencing homelessness. Community Advocates' staff and programs have adapted to meet the demands brought on by this crisis and are committed to providing excellent services to our community members. We are in this together, and we look forward to seeing all of you again in person and in good health.

 In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
Virtual Rental Housing Resource Center Launches
Community Advocates holds government and private contracts to assist individuals and families who facing an eviction with a variety of financial assistance supports that include rent, rent arrears, utility assistance, security deposit, and first month's rent.
The COVID-19 public health emergency has made our housing and utilities services even more in demand.
The Rental Housing Resource Center -- operating virtually to ensure everyone's safety -- launched the Rent Help program on April 1, 2020, in response to economic hardship brought on by COVID-19. Our partners are Apartment Owners Association of Southeast Wisconsin , City of Milwaukee , IMPACT , Legal Action of Wisconsin , Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee , Mediate Milwaukee and Milwaukee County with the support of the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA) . Individuals seeking to apply for rent assistance can contact our Rent HelpLine at 414-270-4646 or t to access an application, or they can apply directly via our online rent assistance application .
We are also pleased to announce that the Rental Housing Resource Center is working in partnership with the Milwaukee County Eviction Prevention Funds to assist Milwaukee County residents in need of rental assistance.  You can learn details of this program at this link .

Individuals who have submitted a request through the Rent HelpLine, email, or online application portal will automatically be assessed for the Milwaukee County eviction prevention funds.  There is no need to make another call, send another email, or submit a new online application.
Our Housing Advocates are working as quickly as possible to meet the demands brought on by COVID-19, and they are doing an exceptional job as they rise to this challenge. If you have submitted an application for rent assistance, they will be in touch as soon as they are able. 
Community Advocates’ Services and Resources during COVID-19
While Community Advocates’ sites are closed to the public due to COVID-19, we are still providing services and resources to our community members.

You can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Extended Hours
July 1-August 31
The Milwaukee County Energy Assistance program will be offering extended hours from July 1 through August 31:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday & Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.-12 noon

All appointments will be conducted on the phone to ensure everyone’s health and safety. The deadline to apply for this season's benefits is September 30. To set up an appointment, call 414-270-4MKE (4653) or go to .
Support from the
Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation
Community Advocates is very grateful to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for helping us serve individuals and families in need during this unprecedented public health crisis. We will be using the donation to support our emergency rent assistance for individuals and families who are unable to make their rent payments; for gift cards to area grocery stores for individuals and families experiencing a food crisis; on care packages, which will include cleaning supplies, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and more, all of which our case managers will deliver to individuals and families who need them; and an Emergency Flexible Pool of Funds, which will go toward assisting individuals and families with emergency issues, such as an unanticipated car repair for an essential worker. This donation will help those who are most affected by the health and economic crisis brought on by COVID-19. Thank you!
Green Bay Packers Give Back to Milwaukee Women’s Center
Green Bay Packers Give Back has come through with much-needed funding for the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Emergency Shelter, which serves between 50 and 60 adults and children each day. This donation will help us purchase additional cleaning/sanitizing supplies; additional Personal Protective Equipment including masks (for both staff and clients), gloves, and gowns; additional food for those in our care, since school-age children are no longer in school and receiving lunches and many of our adult guests are unable to work; and provide additional staff resources. Since the Milwaukee Women's Center is one of only two domestic violence agencies with Emergency Shelters in the City of Milwaukee serving a population of nearly 600,000 people, our shelter’s services are in great demand today and every day. We are grateful to Green Bay Packers Give Back for their thoughtful and essential support. Thank you!
A Big PPE Donation
A big thank you goes out to  Advocate Aurora Health , which donated 10,000 disposable masks for our staff and volunteers. Thank you for looking out for our health and safety!
We’re Hiring!
We’re looking for exceptional individuals to join our team in the following roles:

  • Human Resources Manager
  • Clerical Support-Receptionist-IDAP, Bilingual English-Spanish
  • Homeless Outreach Specialist
  • Autumn West Pool Resident Manager (Part Time)
  • Autumn West Safe Haven Third Shift Resident Manager (Part Time)

You can find the job descriptions and how to apply on our Careers page .
Fourth of July Observance
Community Advocates’ offices will be closed Friday, July 3, to observe the Fourth of July. Our 24/7 sites and services will be operating through the holiday weekend. If you are having a domestic violence situation, the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s crisis line is available around the clock at 414-671-6140. If you are having an emergency with your housing situation or utilities, contact 2-1-1 over the holiday weekend.
Community Advocates
2020 Board of Directors
President: Jodi Wire | We Energies
Vice President: Bryan House | Foley & Lardner, LLP
Treasurer: Sandra Samse | Johnson Keland Management
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
Betsy Hoylman | Northwestern Mutual
Gary Ingram | Igary Events
Pamela Klein | Fresh Coast Partners, LLC
Jim Liedtke | Community Volunteer
Ashley Pavlic | Medical College of Wisconsin
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates | 414-270-2999  | |