October-November 2021
Community Advocates Connections

As we head into the holiday season our thoughts naturally turn to our gratitude for our many supporters throughout the community. We are fortunate to have the support of organizations large and small, as well as individuals who donate and pass on information about our services, and simply look out for one another to keep our spirits up during difficult times. On behalf of the Community Advocates staff and the tens of thousands of individuals and families we serve each year, thank you for your generosity and support. You make our community a stronger, more equitable and vibrant one. Stay safe and be well.

In gratitude,
Andi Elliott
Chief Executive Officer
Community Advocates
You Can Make a Difference on #GivingTuesday
November 30
Community Advocates is committed to helping people meet all of their basic needs, including having a safe and comfortable place to call home. All too often, those transitioning from Shelter, Safe Haven, and other short-term housing programs lack basic household possessions to make a house into a home.

Imagine having a living space and lacking a bed, a place for clothes, a kitchen table and chairs for meals, a couch or chair to relax in, and even a set of pots and pans. That is the reality of those we serve.

This year, we will designate #GivingTuesday donations to support our "Comforts of Home" initiative to turn apartments and houses into functional and healing living environments by purchasing brand-new household items for those we are fortunate enough to serve. On average, it costs $2,500 to set up a home for each individual.

It’s easy to make a difference!
  • Please visit our website to make a donation online. Please select Giving Tuesday 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: Giving Tuesday, 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, WI 53233.

Your support will allow us to set up dignified living spaces for our neighbors in need.

Thank you for your compassion and kindness! Your generosity will make a difference in the lives of those in our care who are transitioning to their own stable, permanent housing!
Milwaukee Career and Employment Summit Connected Jobseekers, Community Organizations and Employers
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and our partners organized the Milwaukee Career and Employment Summit on November 11 to bring together jobseekers, employers, and organizations that help those looking for work and have barriers to employment. Sponsored by KOHL’s, the summit included a panel made up of individuals who overcame barriers—such as criminal justice involvement, child care issues, dead-end jobs, and culturally insensitive workplaces—to create careers that empower them. As panel moderator Chytania Brown, President and CEO of Employ Milwaukee, explained it, the panel’s testimony showed "the power of second chances." Breakout sessions covered how to get into in-demand sectors like the construction trades and energy efficiency sector. Dozens of employers and community-based organizations were on hand to meet jobseekers and offer help, including Community Advocates’ Milwaukee Women’s Center, Energy Assistance, and Public Policy Institute staff. We want to thank everyone who attended, sponsored, organized, and shared information about the summit.
Virtual Adult Mental Health First Aid Sessions
To Be Offered in December
Adult Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. This training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Community Advocates Public Policy Institute is offering Mental Health First Aid training virtually in December on the following dates. You can get details and register at the links below.

Milwaukee Women’s Center Wish List
Can you help the Milwaukee Women’s Center’s Emergency Shelter meet the needs of their guests? We serve families and individuals who have experienced homelessness or domestic violence, and most of them come into shelter with few belongings. In shelter, we provide new bedding, essentials for adults and kids, and something special at the holidays. We’re currently seeking these items for our guests:

  • Bath and face towels
  • Twin Size sheet sets
  • Twin Size bed bug covers
  • Pillows
  • New underwear (adults and children, all sizes)
  • Bras (all sizes)
  • Pack 'n Plays
  • Gifts for men, women, and children for the holidays

If you are able to give, please reach out to Jeri at jkavanaugh@communityadvocates.net to ensure receipt of your donation. Thank you!
Many Thanks to ‘You Are Special’ Volunteers
We’re always pleased to see the creative ways our supporters make our guests and program participants feel special and valued. One program we are especially grateful for is You Are Special, which organizes volunteers to bake cakes for individuals who participate in our Autumn West and Project Bridge supportive housing programs, as well as our Milwaukee Women’s Center Emergency Shelter guests. Throughout the year, these volunteers bake and decorate unique and delicious birthday cakes that truly make the recipient feel special. They have baked hundreds of cakes over the years, and each one generates a smile. On behalf of our birthday celebrants, we want to say Thank You to these thoughtful volunteer bakers. 
CA Continues Support for Tenants and Landlords
Community Advocates continues to support tenants and landlords in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties who are struggling to pay their bills. To apply, go to communityadvocates.net, call 414-270-4646, or email renthelp@communityadvocates.net
We also understand the frustrations and anxiety of property owners 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 property owners 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).
Energy Assistance Benefits Season Is Underway
Community Advocates is proud to continue our partnership in the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program. The new benefits season began October 1 and, as we did last year, we will be meeting with all clients on the phone to ensure everyone’s health and safety. You can get details about the program at keepwarmmke.org and schedule your appointment now at that website or by calling 414-270-4MKE (4653).
Christmas Meal Volunteers Needed
Our Autumn West Safe Haven provides studio apartments and supportive services to 20 men and women at a time. This holiday season, we are seeking volunteers to cook or sponsor a Christmas meal for our residents. Interested in making this happen? Contact Lajuell Neal, Autumn West Program Manager, at lneal@communityadvocates.net for more information.
Make Your Shopping Make a Difference!
As we head into a big shopping season, kindly remember that your purchases on Amazon can benefit Community Advocates! When you click on this AmazonSmile link, a percentage of qualifying purchases will be donated to our programs--at no cost to you. Thanks for thinking of us!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Our offices will be closed on November 25 and 26 to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. However, our 24/7 programs will remain open—the Milwaukee Women’s Center Emergency Shelter and Autumn West Safe Haven. If you are experiencing a domestic violence situation, you can contact our crisis line anytime at 414-671-6140. If you need help with any other situation, contact IMPACT 2-1-1. Happy Thanksgiving!
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
Alexandra Urrutia-Comas | Advocate Aurora Health
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates | 414-270-2999  | lkaiser@communityadvocates.net | communityadvocates.net