September 2018
Community Advocates Connections
Happy Autumn!

We’ve got great news! We are officially opening our new Energy Assistance location on the northwest side. Located just a few doors away from our previous site, our new location at 6900 W. Brown Deer Road, Suite 110, will host a Grand Opening Kickoff Event for the Energy Assistance Heating Season on Saturday, September 29. We hope you can join us this Saturday afternoon and have fun with the family while you learn more about keeping warm this winter and staying connected. We are a proud partner in the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program to enable more community members to access this benefit. We’re also excited about our new space, which will be the site for Energy Assistance and other Community Advocates activities throughout the year. 

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
Energy Assistance Season Is Here!
October 1 marks the official launch of the 2018-2019 Energy Assistance Heating Season , but we’re kicking off the season a few days early with the Grand Opening of Community Advocates’ newest location in Brown Deer .

On Saturday, September 29, stop by 6900 W. Brown Deer Road, Suite 110 (a few doors down from our former location) between noon and 3 p.m. to learn about energy assistance and weatherization benefits, and have some fun! V100.7's Reggie Brown will broadcast live from our celebration, and we’ll have plenty of fun for the whole family, including free henna tattoos, face painting, light refreshments, and a Milwaukee Fire Department engine.

Then, on Monday, October 1, all six energy assistance sites will offer extended application hours during the month of October to better serve our clients and make sure they stay connected and warm all winter.
To help local services providers learn more about the program, leaders of the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Team provided an overview at last week’s meeting of the Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee (ECOM). The program is funded by the federal and state government and is administered in Milwaukee County by the Department of Health and Human Services, which partners with Community Advocates and UMOS to deliver benefits.

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program offers one-time annual benefits to eligible utilities customers to reduce their heating bills, as well as additional benefits such as no-cost furnace repair, weatherization, and crisis benefits.

Milwaukee County’s Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program Coordinator Diane Zettelmeier stressed that while the program helped more than 58,000 Milwaukee County households last year, many more households are eligible for it. She noted that a family of four can earn up to $52,846 annually and qualify for energy assistance. Households do not need to be behind on their bills.

"There are so many families who qualify and they don’t know it," Zettelmeier said.

In addition to one-time annual help with utility bills, the program also provides free services to make one’s home energy efficient, including furnace repairs or replacements, weatherization, and conversion from oil to natural gas.

"This is a huge improvement in the home’s value and makes the home more energy efficient," Zettelmeier said.

If you qualify for energy assistance benefits, you also qualify for additional energy-efficiency benefits. Landlords are encouraged to contact the program to see if they are eligible for this benefit.

Kim Amos, who oversees Community Advocates’ Utilities Department and Call Center, said the team has been busy providing outreach in the community. Anyone who wants the team to visit their site and enroll participants can contact the Call Center at 414-270-4653. Otherwise, you can schedule your appointment by going to or calling 414-270-4-MKE (4653).

[Appearing in the above photo are Ana Ortiz of UMOS, Milwaukee County's Diane Zettelmeier, and Community Advocates' Kim Amos]
Remembering Tim Charek
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Timothy Charek, Community Advocates’ Board Member, passed on September 17. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tim’s wife, Meg, and his children Joseph, Maggie, and Charlie. Tim was a longtime board member who was committed to the mission of Community Advocates and those we serve. We are grateful for his dedication to our organization and our lives are richer for having known him. Please see Tim’s board member profile to learn more about his life and work and visit Tim’s CaringBridge site to share your message to his family.  
Milwaukee Women’s Center Gets Greener
Thanks to the Milwaukee Area Science Advocates (MASA), the Milwaukee Women’s Center facility is becoming part of the environmental solution. In August, MASA volunteers installed a clean and green rainwater harvesting system to collect rainwater for the center’s raised-bed gardens (also provided by MASA), reduce our water use, divert excess rainwater from getting into the city’s overburdened sewer systems, and prevent contaminants from getting into the Milwaukee River watershed. The $5,000 project was provided by the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust (Sweet Water) and designed by engineers at Reflo . We’re grateful for their support and are excited about reducing our burden on the environment.
Do You Want to be a Better Dad?   
The New Pathways for Fathers and Families program helps men become better fathers, partners and providers. New Pathways helps low-income men who are expecting a child, biological fathers, and father figures to a dependent child or young adult up to age 24. Community Advocates and Milwaukee County are partners in this program, which focuses on:

  • Responsible Parenting
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Economic Stability

Group meetings are held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday at Community Advocates, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee. There is no cost to attend. A light lunch is provided. Contact Martha at 414-737-6510 to sign up.
Request for Baby Bottles
The Milwaukee Women’s Center provides basic needs for families who have no stable home or have survived violence in their home. Last year alone, we were home base for 575 individuals, which includes 337 children, in our Domestic Violence Shelter and Family Support Center Emergency Shelter. If you know anything about kids, you know they go through a lot of supplies. We’re always grateful to receive donated baby bottles, sippy cups, and dishes and utensils for young children. If you have any to spare, please contact Jeri Kavanaugh at or 414-270-2984. Thank you!
See You at the Movies
Community Advocates and the Public Policy Institute are community partners in Milwaukee Film’s Black Lens program, which supports African-American filmmakers. Black Lens is the only major film program in the country to exclusively showcase the work of African-American filmmakers. The festival runs October 18 through November 1. Keep checking the websites for Community Advocates and the Public Policy Institute , as well as our Facebook pages (Like us here and here ) for details as we get closer to the festival.
Share Your Heart!
Share your heart! Play the Canal Street Bingo Game at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to help raise funds for area children’s charities. The Milwaukee Women's Center is excited to be in the running to receive Heart of Canal Street funds!
September 29: Energy Assistance Kickoff at our new location, 6900 W. Brown Deer Road, Suite 110, from noon to 3 p.m.

October 1: Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Benefits Season starts; expanded hours are offered through October

October 1: Beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 5 through December 28: Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention (MCSAP) Coalition outreach at select Marquette University men’s basketball games

October 18: Project Homeless Connect at Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union

October 19: Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee workshop on housing services; register 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
Timothy Charek | Community Volunteer
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  | |