Two Milwaukee-based nonprofits have merged to form a new organization that provides outreach to older adults and supports young families in Milwaukee County.
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The organization, UNISON, is the new combined entity of Milwaukee’s Interfaith Older Adult Programs and SET Ministry.
The organization’s initiatives include an outreach program for older adults that helps them age in their homes and a home visiting program for younger families to help them provide more stability for their children.
Officials said the merger combines Interfaith’s expertise in volunteer programming with SET’s trauma-informed approach to health.
As a merged organization, UNISON operates five Milwaukee County owned and funded senior centers, 18 senior dining meal sites and a community garden. The organization also provides services and outreach to students in 59 Milwaukee Public Schools and 13 public housing developments.
UNISON has about 265 staff members and 3,000 volunteers.
Laurene Gramling Lambach, former president and chief executive officer of SET Ministry, is now president and CEO of UNISON.
Interfaith's history traces back to 1973, when a few congregations on Milwaukee’s East Side launched neighborhood outreach services to help isolated elderly residents. The organization, which officially incorporated in 1975, has provided programs for older adults throughout the county.
SET Ministry began in the early 1980s when the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph Hospital developed a collaborative model to address the needs of the poor in Milwaukee. In 1985, SET launched the model with three subsidized public housing facilities for the elderly in Milwaukee.