at 5500 W Greenfield Ave, Milwaukee, 53214 United States
Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Services provides the basic necessities of life such as food and clothing
History: In June of 2008, two men began searching for veterans in the Milwaukee, WI area who were homeless, had low incomes, or both. Their mission was to alert these individuals to the availability of, and help them apply for, any benefits they might have earned in connection with their service to our country. They found many veterans who were homeless, and also many who were in need of food and basic household items and furniture. Operating in conjunction with the Milwaukee Chapter of Veterans For Peace a Food Pantry began in June 2009 and in December of 2010, moved into the basement of St John’s Lutheran Church, 5500 W. Greenfield Ave., West Milwaukee WI 53214.The food pantry grew and other initiatives, e.g. a free community breakfast, in partnership with St. John's, as well as securing and warehousing furniture for veterans who were setting up housekeeping, began. In August of 2012, the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) was formed and applied for tax exempt status of their own ( 45-4573280). In January 2013, a difference of opinion regarding mission, emerged within MHVI's board. Resolution was achieved with the decision that Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative would divorce themselves from the food pantry and community outreach activities and focus primarily on the furniture program which aids veterans setting up housing . Dennis Johnson, one of the two original founders and Director, would stay at the present location within St John’s Lutheran Church, 5500 W. Greenfield Ave., and continue to operate the street outreach, the food pantry and community breakfast under a new name (Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Services) and file for separate tax exempt status. Activities: A primary activity is conducting a street outreach among Milwaukee's homeless to find veterans. After a veteran is located and trust established, an attempt is made to get the veteran into the Veterans Administration (VA) and connected to any benefits they may have earned from their service. If they are accepted into a program at the VA the stay there can range from a couple months up to a year. Because of our location (one block from the VA) we are able to maintain frequent contact and serve as a source of support and resources for the Veteran. Over the years we have become known by the Case Workers and Counselors at the Clement J. Zablocki V.A. Medical Center as an organization that is a trusted resource for helping Veterans. As a majority of the veterans in the programs at the VA have been homeless or have lost most of their possessions, we have directed our efforts at helping the veteran acquire an adequate clothing supply while at the VA and if they are able to secure a small room or apartment when discharged, we help with furnishings, household items and providing weekly groceries. We give out over 200 food distributions in a week along with donated clothing and household items. There are over 575 individuals registered with 425 being veterans and the rest, residents of the neighborhood. Volunteers deliver over 60 boxes of food a week for veterans who, either because of age or disability are unable to get to the food pantry. We partner with The Interfaith Senior Volunteer Program for volunteers to deliver the boxes. Now most of the volunteers at the food pantry and breakfast are veterans that have been helped by us. They are regaining much needed self-esteem and renewing their sense of community by giving back to their fellow Veterans. The Community Breakfast Meal, in partnership with St. John's, served its first meal August, 2011. The breakfast is served Thursday mornings in the Church basement. Between 250 to more than 300 meals a week are served, based on attendance. There is no obligation or pressure on attendees since no soliciting is allowed. Many other organizations and business’s come to offer their services free of charge to the veterans coming to the breakfast. Visiting nurses give health screenings and the local Health Department gives flu and other vaccinations. The Breakfast provides a place where the veterans can get out to meet with other Veterans, community members and reestablish a sense of community and belonging again. Veterans helping Veterans is a crucial part of everything we do along with reintegration into society. Conclusion: Over the past 5+ years we have interviewed over 1000 homeless and low income veterans to whom we have given a level of personnel support and friendship that has been instrumental, for many, in breaking the cycle of homelessness. We are providing a much needed "bridge" between the VA and the community. We have the trust of our donors, who know their donations are freely passed on to veterans in need and not resold. Keeping things simple and personal with the Veterans has worked over the years and we will continue helping them with a one on one relationship.
477 FB users likes Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Services Inc, set it to 51 position in Likes Rating for Milwaukee, Wisconsin in Non-profit organization category
Four hundred likes?? Who would have ever thought? Keep spreading the word everyone!! We can always use more prayers, support and donations!!! God bless!!!
Now that the weather is "dropping" in temperatures, please consider "dropping" off any used clothing, bedding, boots, socks, undergarments, etc. Many people live or sleep outdoors all year long and really appreciate what we're able to deliver or offer. For those of us who have never had to face these types of challenges, it may, at times, be difficult to understand the mindset of someone in this situation. My job as a volunteer and person of compassion is to simply fill needs if I am able. Knowing that someone may live through another night is good enough for my mind and spirit. Thanks in advance for all of your help. Without all of our volunteers and donations, we would cease to exist. ~Laura
Hey Everyone!! Please consider donating all gently used coats, blankets, socks, gloves, winter clothing, etc for those who may not have a roof over their heads. If you would like to donate through financial resources, know that your money will feed and clothe individuals who may or may not have family or loved ones in their lives. We are available every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8-10am, or simply send us an email and we can swing by as well. A gentle reminder for those who have followed us awhile and all of our new friends: we had an unfortunate circumstance occur last year. Last February, in the freezing cold, one of our regular visitors was found passed away one block from a Police Department. We are hoping to prevent that from happening again this year. Thanks to each and every person who gives of their time, resources and hearts! Without you we would not be able to do the amazing work we do!!!
Our Breakfast Meal is known as the best meal in Milwaukee
Wow, thanks to a recent donation, we received 600 children's books for our center!!! If you have a child in your life, please grab one when you visit. If you know a child who's not really into reading, ask them, "Do you like a certain series on TV? If you do, then reading saves you the time from having to wait months to find out what happens!" Reading is an amazing adventure which will not only distract you but take you to places you've never even dreamed you'd be. What's your favorite book???
Hi Everyone!! It's your one and only Laura!! I'm so sorry I haven't see a majority of you lately!! I am now working a majority of days that our food pantry and breakfast is occurring. Although I absolutely love my new job selling cars, I feel a part of my mental and emotional well being is off due to the fact that volunteering completes that innermost part of me which allows me to give and love unconditionally!! With that said, how do you feed yourself when it comes to your emotional and mental well being? I can guaranty that unless you volunteer or give to others without expecting something in return, you will never have that "feeling" one gets when they do!! Remember, every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8-10am. Swing by Tuesday for the food pantry, clothing and a few household goods. Thursday morning you can experience the most delicious breakfast and also pick up clothing if need be!! Also, feel free to drop off donations during that time or message us if you need a pick-up!! See you soon!!!