United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County aims to end family homelessness by 2025

Organization's campaign goal is $55 million

United Way Milwaukee homlessness
United Way's 2019 campaign co-chairs unveil the $55 million goal.

Last updated on September 3rd, 2019 at 05:32 pm

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is targeting to end family homelessness in the region by 2025.

The new initiative was unveiled Thursday at United Way’s annual community campaign kickoff at Miller Park, where the organization also announced its campaign goal of $55 million. Last year’s campaign brought in $56 million.

The new five-year initiative, called “Safe & Stable Homes: Ending Family Homelessness,” will involve United Way continuing to fund warming room and emergency shelters, but also expanding its focus to homelessness prevention for families.

“We know that many families in our community are one missed rent or mortgage payment away from homelessness,” said Amy Lindner, president and chief executive officer of United Way. “Having a place to call home is the foundation of a healthy and successful life.”

“An end to family homelessness means that every community will have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and one-time experience,” Lindner added.

The Brewers Community Foundation pledged on Thursday to give $100,000 to the initiative.

“We believe in the power of United Way and we believe that ending family homelessness will be life-changing for so many in our community,” said Cecelia Gore, executive director of Brewers Community Foundation, and a co-chair of United Way’s 2019 campaign.

United Way invests in more than 220 programs and more than 110 partner agencies, with a focus on the three core issues of health, education and financial stability. Investments from United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County cover a four county region: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties.

This year’s campaign co-chairs include: Gore; Mike Flynn, president of First Business Bank’s Milwaukee region; Blake Moret, chairman and chief executive officer of Rockwell Automation; and George Oliver, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls.

“Each year we have wonderful individuals who co-chair our campaign and work to create change in our neighborhoods. This year, we are extremely lucky to have a ‘who’s who’ of leaders from our community,” Lindner said. “We are extremely grateful for the way they are bringing together donors and volunteers to the issues that they care about.”

Flynn shared at Thursday’s campaign kickoff event his own family’s experience with homelessness when he was growing up.

“As a young boy, I was helped by organizations like United Way,” Flynn said. “That has stayed with me my entire life. Now it’s my turn to help others. I want my children to know and understand what it means to give back and what it means to be part of creating lasting change in our community.”

The community campaign runs through Dec. 11.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.