June-July 2021
Community Advocates Connections

Summer is typically time to kick back and relax. But with the end of the national eviction moratorium on July 31 and a concerning surge of coronavirus in Wisconsin and elsewhere, this is no time to be complacent. Milwaukee and Waukesha County tenants who have lost income because of COVID-19 or other reasons are encouraged to sign up for rental assistance as soon as possible so that they are not at risk of eviction. Please contact our rent assistance team by calling 414-270-4646 or going to communityadvocates.net to fill out an application. Landlords who have a tenant who owes back rent should contact the Rental Housing Resource Center at renthelpmke.org to learn how they can prevent the costly and traumatic process of eviction. We are also encouraging everyone to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That includes getting vaccinated, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, and wearing a face covering when necessary. We look forward to connecting in person as soon as possible. 

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
You Helped 97,000 People Last Year
We are incredibly grateful for the wonderful support of our friends and donors over the last 16 months! Your generous monetary and in-kind donations allowed us to help more than 97,000 individuals and their families, including providing critical rent assistance to keep people in their homes, shelter and safety for domestic violence survivors and those facing homelessness, and services for those affected by mental health challenges and disabilities. We are honored to have your support! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our neighbors in need!

With gratitude,

All Your Friends at Community Advocates & Our Milwaukee Women's Center Division
A Tsunami of Support for Tenants and Landlords
The federal eviction moratorium is scheduled to end July 31, and the news is filled with dire warnings of a "tsunami of evictions" to come. But Community Advocates is part of the "tsunami of support" for tenants and landlords who are struggling to pay their bills. We are providing rental assistance to tenants in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties and will continue to do so after the eviction ban ends. To apply, go to communityadvocates.net, call 414-270-4646, or email renthelp@communityadvocates.net
We also understand the frustrations and anxiety of landlords who may be considering evicting a tenant who owes back rent. Along with the Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin and other rental housing stakeholders, we encourage landlords to consider alternatives to costly and time-consuming eviction, such as neutral mediation services, rental assistance, and tenant relocation assistance provided by the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center. Property owners should contact the RHRC at renthelpmke.org, by emailing info@renthelpmke.org or by calling 414-895-RENT (7368).
Rep. Gwen Moore Visits Community Advocates
On July 23, Community Advocates hosted Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who announced the reintroduction of the Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act, which would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to low-income caregivers and students. Moore’s bill would provide tax credits of up to $4,000 for single filers and $8,000 for married couples, with the option of receiving monthly payments. Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and the Economic Security Project organized the event. Watch the coverage on CBS 58 here and WISN 12 here.
Child Tax Credit Resources
On July 15, as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, parents began receiving advance payments of the expanded Child Tax Credit, a historic program that has the power to cut childhood poverty in half. The payments have increased and more families are eligible to help them cover the costs of raising kids in an uncertain economy. More than 1.1 million kids in Wisconsin will receive this benefit—with no strings attached.

Parents or caregivers who filed federal income taxes in 2019 or 2020 or received a stimulus check should receive their monthly advance payments mid-month for the rest of 2021. The balance of the payments will be made when they file their 2021 taxes.

However, parents or caregivers who are not required to file federal income taxes will have to fill out a form so they can participate in this program.

Community Advocates aims to connect with these “non filers” so they can receive their tax credit.

We’ve provided resources in English and Spanish on our website and we’re partnering with organizations in Milwaukee and nationally to get the word out.

Please share these resources widely and send questions to Julie Kerksick at jkerksick@communityadvocates.net.

In addition, on July 15, our Public Policy Institute co-sponsored “Family Matters: A Virtual Celebration of the Child Tax Credit,” which featured keynote remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris, plus speakers Rev. William Barber II, Ai-jen Poo, Sen. Raphael Warnock, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and many more. The event was organized by Economic Security Project and Building Back Together. If you missed the rally, you can watch it on our Facebook page anytime.
CA & MWC Out & About
One of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines and the warm summer weather is that we are able to be out in the community again! Our wonderful staff was able to participate in the city’s Juneteenth celebration and at the Heal the Hood festival. Keep your eyes out for Community Advocates’ and the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s teams the next time you’re at a fun event.
Bucks and MCSAP Are a Slam Dunk
The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention coalition (MCSAP), which is coordinated by our Public Policy Institute, is grateful for the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks' generosity. Throughout the team’s playoff and finals home games, MCSAP members and our community volunteers worked at Fiserv Forum’s concessions stands. A portion of the proceeds collected will be donated to MCSAP. These volunteers also got an extra perk by being able to watch some of the Bucks' amazing games. We hope to be back next year for another championship title!
Can You Help?
The guests at our Milwaukee Women’s Center Emergency Shelter need your assistance. If you are able to volunteer your time, prepare a meal, or donate back-to-school supplies, please contact Jeri Kavanaugh at jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net for more information. Thank you!

  • Volunteers Needed: Have a few hours to spare to help adults and families getting back on their feet after homelessness or domestic violence? We would appreciate your support with projects at our shelter.
  • Back to School: The shelter is in need of backpacks, school supplies, children’s back-to-school shoes, and clothing of all sizes for boys and girls.
  • Serve Our Guests: We are looking for small groups to purchase, prepare, and provide dinner for our shelter, which is located on the near south side. You can bring the dinner in fully cooked or prepare it in our commercial kitchen. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. daily for about 50 guests.
We’re Hiring!
If you care about helping your community members, are motivated to make a change, and want to work with amazing colleagues, Community Advocates wants you. Here are our open positions:
  • Autumn West Program Manager
  • SPF-PFS Coordinator
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 | Community Volunteer
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