Greater Milwaukee Foundation establishes fund in response to Sherman Park violence

Fund seeded with $200,000 grant

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation offices, located in the Schlitz Park office complex.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has established a fund to address what it referred to as “immediate needs” in Sherman Park following multiple nights of violence and unrest last week in the northwest side neighborhood.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The fund was seeded with an initial grant of $200,000 from the GMF, which encouraged individuals, foundations and other organizations around the city to contribute.

“While the initial funding is designed to provide a timely response in Sherman Park, the Foundation and other philanthropic partners have been deeply engaged in supporting resident-led, neighborhood improvement efforts across the city,” the GMF wrote in a statement released Friday. “This fund is the next step in strengthening those long-term efforts.”

The fund, called the Reasons for Hope MKE Fund, was established two days after the city’s largest foundations and philanthropic organizations convened in the offices of the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation to discuss strategies for improving life for residents on Milwaukee’s northwest side. The meeting was called by Reggie Moore of the city’s Office of Violence Prevention in response to the violence in Sherman Park.

“As a community foundation, we are dedicated to the strength and vitality of neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee,” GMF president and chief executive officer Ellen Gilligan said in a prepared statement. “We are listening as residents and partners in the community express both their challenges and hopes for restoring and reinforcing positive conditions and well-being in their neighborhoods. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s long-standing commitment to healthy neighborhoods includes deep partnerships in Sherman Park and other neighborhoods, supporting residents as they work to strengthen social connections, physical conditions and market confidence.”

Gilligan said the “pressing needs” of people, businesses and properties in Sherman Park “warrant urgent action,” and that the organization will seek feedback from neighborhood residents about what can be done immediately to improve quality of life.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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