February-March 2021
Community Advocates Connections

I hope that you are safe and healthy and greeting each day with optimism. We are continuing to be of service to those who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in a multitude of ways, including providing housing and rental assistance, refuge for domestic violence survivors and those who had been homeless, and individuals with mental health and substance abuse concerns. The pandemic has made it painfully clear that while we are "all in this together," some members of our community are "in this" more harshly because of the conditions they had been facing before Covid-19, such as street homelessness and housing instability. That is why we are dedicating our 48 Hours of Giving Campaign to community members engaged in our Homeless Outreach and Permanent Supportive Housing programs. If you are able, please contribute to our 48 Hours of Giving Campaign March 23-March 25. Your gift can and will change a life.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
On behalf of Community Advocates,
the Milwaukee Women’s Center, and the Public Policy Institute
join us from March 23 through March 25
to make a difference in someone’s life!
Please consider making a donation during our
48 Hours of Giving Campaign!
During just 48 hours, you can change the lives of our neighbors in need!

Double your support for Community Advocates’ life-changing, life-saving, and client-centered services when you donate during our 48 Hours of Giving, from 10 a.m. on March 23 to 10 a.m. on March 25. The first $30,000 in donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar courtesy of our Match Sponsor Direct Supply and Community Advocates’ Board of Directors.

It’s easy to participate.
  • Please visit our website to make a donation online. Please select 48 Hours of Giving 2021 on the Select the Destination of Your Contribution drop down menu.
  • Please share this with your friends and family members and ask them to consider making a donation.
  • Mail a donation to: Community Advocates, Attn: 48 Hours of Giving, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, WI 53233.

This year, we are dedicating funds raised during the campaign to support our Homeless Outreach and Permanent Supportive Housing programs benefiting individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and mental health issues. Having a safe and stable place to call home is critical to one’s mental and physical health and overall wellness - especially as we continue to navigate through the pandemic.

  • Our Homeless Outreach team has been working tirelessly to engage with people living on the streets who also suffer from chronic mental health challenges to connect them to services to stabilize their mental and physical health and improve their homeless situations.
  • Autumn West Safe Haven provides free, private one-bedroom apartments to serve this vulnerable population and is an alternative to emergency shelter and designed to provide safe, short-term housing along with supportive services for residents as they transition out of homelessness and stabilize their mental health.
  • Our Permanent Supportive Housing program provides immediate access to safe and affordable housing to Milwaukee residents who have been identified as chronically homeless and living with a disability. The program provides comprehensive case management services to help individuals achieve housing stability.

With your help, we will be able to serve and provide homes
to those most in need in our community!
Thank you for your kindness and support!
Wishing you and your family good health and wellness!
Meet Shamika May,
Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Emergency Shelter Manager
Milwaukee Women’s Center welcomes its new Emergency Shelter Manager, Shamika May. Ms. May joined our staff in February and she brings with her a wealth of experience in health care and long-term care. Her experience in both patient care and facility management will no doubt be an asset to our shelter for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence or homelessness. May takes great pride in her work in service to the community.

Her compassionate spirit extends to clients and staff alike. "I love being of service to others and I do all that I can to help," she said. This applies to both clients and staff. "I believe in being a leader who empowers others to achieve their goals."

Community Advocates Continues Distributing Rental Assistance
We are honored to be playing a part in keeping tenants in their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic by distributing funding for rental assistance. Community Advocates holds government and private contracts to assist individuals and families who have experienced an income loss with a variety of financial assistance supports that include rent, rent arrears, utility assistance, security deposit, and first month's rent.

Our largest funding source is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Community Advocates is proud to administer Milwaukee County's and Waukesha County's direct allocations of these federal dollars established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. 

To ease the application process we have launched a new online application site for tenants and landlords. Click here to see if you are eligible and begin the application process. If you have questions, please contact 414-270-4646 or email renthelp@communityadvocates.net.

Energy Assistance Available
Shutoff Moratorium Ends April 15
It’s not too late to get help with your heating bills! You can apply for Milwaukee County Energy Assistance benefits by scheduling an appointment at keepwarmmke.org, calling 414-270-4MKE (4653), or by filling out the online application at this link. All appointments will be conducted over the phone to protect everyone’s health and safety. It’s easy to apply! Plus, you may be eligible for weatherization or other benefits to lower your heating bills and save energy.
Housewarming Items Needed
Our Project Bridge Supportive Housing Program helps individuals move from street homelessness into their own homes. Last year, program staff helped a record number of participants, who are now enjoying the benefits of living in their own apartments with the support they need to ensure their health and happiness. To help these newly settled Project Bridge participants set up their new apartments, we are seeking housewarming items such as microwaves, dish sets, pots and pan sets, TVs, and other commonly needed housewares. To donate, contact Jeri Kavanaugh at 414-270-2984 or jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net. Thank you! 
Calling All Cooks
The Milwaukee Women’s Center Emergency Shelter is looking for a family, team, church group or club to provide an Easter Brunch for our shelter guests. The meal can be brought in cooked and heated up at the shelter or it can be prepared on site. The shelter is on the near south side of Milwaukee. If you want to prepare the food on site we are limiting the number of volunteers in the kitchen to five due to Covid-19. We have all the pots, pans, serving dishes, and utensils needed. We are looking to serve the meal around noon. We will also supply PPE equipment. Please contact Jeri Kavanaugh at 414-270-2984 or jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net if you’re interested. Thank you!
We're Hiring
Community Advocates is seeking dedicated, mission-driven professionals for the following positions:

Please visit our Careers page for details.
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:

Community Advocates
2021 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  | lkaiser@communityadvocates.net | communityadvocates.net