Nonprofit of the Year- Small – Winner
521 S. Ninth St., Milwaukee
Community Warehouse is a faith-based Milwaukee organization that provides residents, businesses and organizations in its redevelopment zone with new affordable home improvement materials.
What started as an idea between businessmen came to fruition in 2005 after receiving an in-kind building donation.
The Community Warehouse retail store is located at 521 S. Ninth St. Materials are donated and sold to city residents at a substantially reduced cost in order to help revitalize communities and neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee’s inner city.
The organization will open a second retail store in the spring of 2017 at North Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and West North Avenue.
The goal for Community Warehouse is to partner with foundations, nonprofits, builders and manufacturers to provide the resources that are needed for rebuilding the city’s neighborhoods.
Products purchased at the Community Warehouse store have improved thousands of inner-city Milwaukee homes.
The organization relies on volunteers to help its neighborhood members find items throughout the warehouse; load and unload materials; complete organization projects; conduct administrative tasks like membership processing, mailings, newsletters and updates; and just to talk and pray with members.
Volunteers with home improvement and skilled trade experience are valuable resources for Milwaukee homeowners and often conduct “how to” workshops for Community Warehouse.
In addition, Community Warehouse provides full-time jobs, job training, and personal and spiritual guidance for background-challenged individuals in the city.
These individuals, often just released from prison, have a desire to make a positive impact in their family life and in their community.
In an effort to expand its mission even further, Community Warehouse recently launched Milwaukee Working, a contract services division that works to identify full-time employment opportunities and training in Milwaukee’s central city.
In 2012, Milwaukee Working had four full-time employees. Today, the division has a full-time staff across two departments – online and light assembly.
Additionally, it provides training and mentoring for its employees.
The Milwaukee Working program serves individuals who are underemployed, never employed or background-challenged, taking their lives in a positive direction.