December 2020-January 2021
Community Advocates Connections

I hope that you are safe and healthy and celebrating the holidays in the best way you can. To say that 2020 was a challenging year would be an understatement. In fact, when we called out for donors and volunteers to support our clients and guests, we didn’t expect such a wonderful response. Every time we asked for help, we got it. Our supporters came through with creative fundraisers, meals, socks and other essentials, generous financial gifts, and time and talents—all of which help to transform the lives of individuals and families who are in crisis. On behalf of Community Advocates' staff and those we serve, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your generosity has made this challenging year a brighter one. Our best to you in 2021.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
The Jack and Barbara Recht Family Supports
Community Advocates’ Homeless Outreach and
Supportive Housing Programs 
We are thrilled and honored to accept a $100,000 donation from The Jack and Barbara Recht Family Fund. This contribution will enable our Homeless Outreach and Supportive Housing Programs to continue to assist individuals who are living on the streets or are transitioning from the streets into permanent housing. 

"It’s hard to express how important the Recht family’s gift will be to the hundreds of individuals we serve who are struggling to get by on the city’s streets, in our parks, and in other places not fit for human habitation," said Community Advocates CEO Andi Elliott. "With the Recht family's donation, we will be able to continue to provide compassionate, professional care and services to men and women who don’t have a safe place to sleep at night, a clean kitchen in which to cook their meals, or the health care and other supports that will enable them to live independently and with dignity. We are very grateful to Barbara Recht and her family for supporting our efforts to assist these vulnerable members of our community."  

Community Advocates' Homeless Outreach Program engaged 138 men and women in 2019 and provided case management services to 38 formerly homeless clients who are in permanent supportive housing as part of the Housing First Initiative. In addition, our Autumn West Safe Haven, a low-barrier housing refuge for individuals who are currently homeless and experiencing severe and persistent mental health challenges, provided 44 individuals with safe and stable housing at Autumn West or a permanent housing setting in 2019. Our Project Bridge program provided immediate access to safe and affordable housing and case management to 100 Milwaukee residents last year who had experienced chronic homelessness and are living with a disability. 

"A safe, stable home is central to every person's health and well-being," Elliott said. "With this gift from Barbara Recht and her family, more individuals will be able to come home each night with peace of mind."
Substance Use Disorder Treatment in the Time of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest in response to racist policies and policing, social isolation, economic strain, and general uncertainty can destabilize a person’s mental health and wellness. But for those recovering from substance use disorders, the stressors of 2020 make maintaining sobriety and good mental health even more difficult—especially when it’s generally unsafe to meet in person with a counselor or with a group of peers.

Fortunately, the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Substance Use Disorder Treatment specialists have created new ways to provide outpatient treatment and support to their clients during this time of crisis. 

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 on the phone and via email.

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

Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center Goes Online
Community Advocates is proud to be a founding partner in the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center (MKE RHRC), a new, one-stop resource for landlords and tenants in need of assistance to maintain or provide stable housing. The mission of the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center is to serve as a trusted convener for the rental housing system and to connect people to resources, education, and services that help prevent eviction, regardless of age, family situation, or housing status.

Uniquely, the RHRC brings together nine community partners who provide diverse services to landlords and tenants, from case management and assistance with rent or security deposits, to legal advice and mediation opportunities. Along with Community Advocates, the partners are IMPACT Inc., Mediate Wisconsin, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Legal Action Wisconsin, Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, Hope House, the City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services, and Milwaukee County Housing Division. The Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA) is providing project management.

The MKE RHRC launched its website earlier this month and has been covered by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WUWM. The partners are working on its physical site at 728 N. James Lovell St., to open soon. This trauma-informed site will be a centralized location for information and resources, including access to computers and printers in a private space so tenants or landlords can make their court dates virtually. We’re excited to see this project come to life—something to cheer about as we welcome 2021.
Many Thanks to Our Donors
We are grateful for all of the contributions we received this year on behalf of those we serve. The gifts have come in all sizes and forms, as well as volunteer time and talents. We’d like to thank the following donors for their special gifts this holiday season. 
Giving Tuesday

We dedicated our Giving Tuesday campaign to two vital initiatives, the launch of the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center and the programs and services at the Milwaukee Women’s Center. We’re thrilled that we received generous contributions from individuals, board members, staff, and RHRC’s $5,000 matching donor Wells Fargo to support these worthy causes. You’ll see the results of these gifts in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you!
Thanksgiving Thank You

We want to thank Patrice Hofbauer and her family, who cooked and served a fantastic Thanksgiving meal at the Milwaukee Women’s Center, and the students at Catholic Memorial High School who created the festive decorations and favors. Our guests at the emergency shelter had a wonderful time and are truly grateful for their generosity. Thank you!
More Help from Who Is Hussain?

A big round of applause once again goes out to the Milwaukee chapter of Who Is Hussain?. These volunteers have become a strong, steady source of support for our programs, and the meals they cook and serve at our Milwaukee Women’s Center are outstanding. We are so thankful for their dedication!
Gifts for Our Guests

Christmas arrived at the Milwaukee Women's Center, thanks to a "sleigh" full of gifts for our guests from the wonderful employees at Ehlers, Inc. Each employee donated items on our wish list that will make this holiday a great one for the adults and kids we serve. We're so thankful for the generosity of Ehlers and wish them a joyous holiday season.
Silent Nighties Campaign

We are so grateful to On Milwaukee and its readers for organizing the Silent Nighties campaign for the Milwaukee Women’s Center. Most of the women who stay at our emergency shelter show up with just the clothes on their backs and lack essentials that most people take for granted—like a nightgown or pajamas. The Silent Nighties campaign came to their rescue with new sleepwear for our guests. We’d like to thank On Milwaukee for making this happen, as well as their readers for their care and concern. We appreciate you!
Socks Galore!

We’re very grateful for the outpouring of love we got from the Wauwatosa Public Library’s members and staff. They organized an amazing sock drive to benefit our clients, guests, and anyone else we encounter who needs them. New socks can make all the difference in a person’s day, especially when the weather turns cold. They are very much appreciated. Thank you!
Our Wish List
Community Advocates is grateful for the generosity of our community. This holiday season, we are seeking supplies for individuals who are moving into their own homes after experiencing homelessness and insecure housing. To donate new bedding (twin size), pillows, coffee makers or microwaves to the individuals who participate in our Autumn West Safe Haven or Project Bridge programs, please contact Jeri Kavanaugh at to arrange your donation. You can also purchase items on Amazon (if you use Amazon Smile with this link Community Advocates will receive a donation as you shop) and have them delivered directly to us by sending them to Jeri Kavanaugh at Community Advocates, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, WI 53233. Thank you for your support!
There’s Still Time to Make a Gift
Together we can keep families in their homes, bring people in from the cold, help individuals pay their rent and utilities, and provide access to a host of resources and services throughout Milwaukee County. If you would like to join this important effort by making a generous gift today, please donate online at or mail your contribution to Community Advocates, Attn. Kris Uhen, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, WI 53233. If you would like your donation credited to 2020, please date and mail your check by December 31. If you have questions, feel free to contact Kris at Thank you!
Help Us Change and Save Lives
The Milwaukee Women’s Center, a division of Community Advocates, is providing life-saving services to survivors of domestic violence during a year when intimate partner violence is surging. Please help us provide critical front-line services such as emergency shelter, a 24/7 crisis line, special programming for older victims and child victims, intervention and counseling for batterers, and treatment for substance use disorders. Your donation, no matter how big or small, will help survivors and their families. Please donate online at and select "Milwaukee Women’s Center" as the destination of your contribution, or mail a check to the Milwaukee Women's Center, Attn. Kris Uhen, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, WI 53233. If you would like your donation credited to 2020, please date and mail your check by December 31. If you have questions, feel free to contact Kris at Thank you!
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
Noceeba Southern | United States Social Security Administration
Alexandra Urrutia-Comas | Advocate Aurora Health
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates | 414-270-2999  | |