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A New Affiliate Opens in Wisconsin

We are proud to welcome Family Promise of Western Waukesha County, Wisconsin. This is our eighth Affiliate in the Badger State. Waukesha County is due west of Milwaukee and the Affiliate serves the western, more small-town area also known as Lake Country.

It began when a UCC pastor wondered what to do about the frequent requests for help he was getting from families in the community. A previous service effort had failed and they wanted to turn to Family Promise for a successful template. The first community meeting was held at Oconomowoc UCC. Development proceeded steadily as the group determined the importance of securing a full year’s budget, along with 11 host congregations and a Day Center in a very hospitable, centrally located office park located walking distance to an elementary school. The van was donated by Shorehaven Assisted Living facility in Oconomowoc.

The director, Mariha Dewberry, is a young and dynamic nonprofit professional; they also have a case manager aboard. Over time, Pat Bradbury, Tom Cioffi and Jeanna Beck have lent support, and Kathy Christenson provided the opening training, as well as a model of an operating program during development (as Madison did also).

There is no family shelter in the western part of the county and the number of students classified as homeless has more than doubled in the past five years. There is a perception that homelessness does not exist in the wealthier, more rural area—one that is belied by the manifest need the congregations and local agencies see.