September 2019
Community Advocates Connections
Friends --

It's that time of year again. Energy Assistance Benefit Season begins October 1, when eligible utilities customers can sign up for once-a-year benefits to offset their bills. Community Advocates continues to be a proud partner in the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program. In fiscal year 2019, more than 62,000 individuals applied for benefits and $2.7 million was dispersed in Milwaukee County. We're encouraging all residents to check out the program to see if they are eligible -- including students, many of whom qualify for the program. You can get details from the flyers included in this newsletter or at .

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
Energy Assistance Benefit Season Is Here!
If you’re worried about paying your utilities bills this winter, the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Team has you covered. The benefit season begins October 1, when eligible We Energies customers can get a once-a-year break on their bills. The amount of the benefit varies and depends on a number of factors, including household income and size, as well as heating bills. But, even better, if you qualify for this benefit, you also qualify for other services and benefits, such as the weatherization program, emergency furnace repairs, payment plan options, and more. Some landlords are eligible for weatherization upgrades, too.

Applying is easy. Go to or call 414-270-4MKE (270-4653) to see if you qualify and set up an appointment. The Call Center Advocates are happy to answer your questions. If you live outside of Milwaukee County, click here for information on applying.

During the month of October, all six application sites throughout Milwaukee County will offer extended hours, which are:

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

Community Advocates is a proud partner in the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance program because we understand that these benefits can be truly life-saving. Instead of worrying about how they’re going to pay their bills, trying to stay warm with dangerous space heaters, or suffering with drafts and cold air, individuals and families who receive Energy Assistance can stay warm and connected all winter. 
Homelessness Awareness Week
October 10-17
The Milwaukee Continuum of Care is organizing a Homelessness Awareness week in October to raise awareness of the work of CoC members and partners in addressing homelessness in Milwaukee County. The entire week will be filled with events, including On the Table Discussions organized by the  Greater Milwaukee Foundation on October 10 and Project Homeless Connect at Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union on October 17. Project Homeless Connect is an incredible resource and service opportunity for our community members who are struggling to keep going. The organizers, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County , are seeking volunteers to work as guest advocates, barbers and hairdressers, and to staff a table at the event as a resource provider. Get details here .
ECOM Spotlights Domestic Violence Awareness
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month , the Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee (ECOM) is putting domestic violence prevention and intervention in the spotlight at its October 18 meeting. ECOM is organized by Community Advocates’ Housing Department. Workshops are open to all who are interested and are held at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, 225 W. Vine St., Milwaukee. Cost is $5 for materials and light refreshments. Get details and RSVP here.  
The Gift of Jeans
A big thank you goes out to the wonderful shoppers at Maurices, who donated an incredible 98 pairs of denim to our Milwaukee Women’s Center’s guests and clients. The denim donation drive was part of Maurices’ national effort to support local nonprofits. We’re thrilled!
Legal Aid Society Honored Maudwella Kirkendoll
Earlier this month, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee recognized our COO, Maudwella Kirkendoll, with its Equal Justice Medal. We can’t think of a more deserving advocate who leads by example. Congratulations, Maudwella! 
Join the Nevermore Support Network
If we truly want to break the cycle of violence and ensure that future generations live in peaceful, loving homes, we need to address the motivations behind intimate partner violence. The Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Nevermore Batterers Intervention Program does just that, with individual, group, and couples counseling and other services. Please consider joining ou r Nevermore Support Network so that the Nevermore men know that you believe in their ability to transform their lives and relationships. The program’s manager, Steve Thomas, explains it for you in this clip.
Changing Your Alcohol Environment Event Series
October 8-10
Join the   Alliance for Wisconsin Youth  and the   Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition  for this one-of-a-kind look at our drinking culture, both nationally and in Wisconsin, and what local advocates and elected officials can to do prevent the harm associated with problematic alcohol consumption. In Wisconsin, local officials and communities have quite a bit of power over their local alcohol environment. These sessions will shed light on what can be done to enhance safety and health at the local level.
October 8: There Has Always Been Drinking in America: Alcohol, History, Culture, and What It All Means for Prevention
This keynote by the University of Wyoming’s Rodney Wambeam, Ph.D., explores America’s cultural relationship to alcohol, from the 13 colonies to Prohibition to today’s music and movies.
October 9: Don’t React: Create Your Alcohol Environment: Learn How Coalition Leaders and Residents Can Shape a Community’s Alcohol Environment
Julia Sherman of the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project will explain how coalition leaders and concerned residents can make local licensing decisions and related policies that can improve a community’s quality of life and public safety.
October 10: Creating a Local Environment: Learn How Local Elected Officials Can Shape a Community’s Alcohol Environment
Elected officials are invited to this session on local licensing decisions and related policies that can improve a community’s quality of life and public safety. Presented by Julia Sherman of the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project.
All sessions will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County Volunteer Center, 225 W. Vine St., Milwaukee.  They’re free, but RSVPs are required at this link . Light refreshments will be served. Questions? Contact Jazzmyne Adams, Coordinator, Southeast Region of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth, at 414-270-4658 or .
Milwaukee Film Partnership
Community Advocates' Milwaukee Women’s Center division is excited to support the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival . We’re one of the community partners in the screenings of The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open , which tells the story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different experiences navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse.

Screenings will be held on:

  • Monday, October 21, at 3:45 p.m. at Times Cinema
  • Sunday, October 27, at 3:30 p.m. at Oriental West
  • Tuesday, October 29, at 12:30 p.m. at Oriental West

This year’s festival runs October 17-31.
Share Your Heart !  
When you play the Canal Street Bingo game at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino now through Dec. 12, you’re helping raise funds for area children’s charities, giving them the gift of a promising future. Half of each $3 or $7 Canal Street B ingo game purchased goes to the Heart of Canal Street fund, which totaled more than $1.1 million last year! Community Advocates’ Siemer Institute for Family Stability Program is excited to be in the running to be a benefiting charity. Visit to learn more. 
October 1: Beginning of 2019-2020 Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Benefit Season: Call 414-270-4653 or go to to set up your appointment so you can stay warm and connected all winter.

October 2: Home to Stay Resource Fair: Have you or your family been impacted by the criminal justice system? This monthly resource fair offers opportunities and support for you. Get details at this link .

October 8-10: Changing Your Alcohol Environment Series: Don't miss this unique look at our alcohol culture, both nationally and in Wisconsin. Get details here .

October 14: The Milwaukee Child Abuse Prevention Services coalition’s policy committee meeting will explore the state’s Drug Endangered Children program and its potential in Milwaukee. All are welcome to attend, and we encourage newbies to participate and share your perspectives. Learn more at this link .

October 17: Project Homeless Connect: If you know someone who is experiencing homelessness or you want to volunteer, please get involved in this life-changing event.

October 18: The Empowerment Coalition of Milwaukee (ECOM) October meeting: This workshop and networking opportunity will focus on domestic violence prevention and intervention. Get details and RSVP here .

October 24: Southeast Wisconsin Reentry Employer Networking Expo: Are you an employer struggling to find job-ready employees to fill your workforce needs? Stop by this networking opportunity to learn how hiring returned citizens can benefit your business. You’ll meet representatives of organizations that support the transition and job-readiness of formerly incarcerated individuals to improve their success at work. Learn more here .

We're always adding events to our online calendar. Bookmark it here.
Community Advocates
2019 Board of Directors
President: Sheree Dallas Branch | The Salvation Army
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  | |