Hope House offers several different housing programs to meet the needs of homeless families, working towards our goal of ending homelessness.
Fresh Start (Emergency Shelter):
Homeless families often face multiple burdens such as loss of income, inadequate support networks, and mental and physical disabilities. The Fresh Start Program is designed to provide short-term shelter and supportive services to homeless families. Program participants can stay up to one month, so staff work quickly with them to develop gainful employment opportunities and to secure permanent housing. Children in shelter grow and learn through our Shining Stars after school program. Adults are provided with practical, applicable information, education, and services in a condensed timeframe. In this way, clients who are temporarily experiencing homelessness can find stable, permanent housing and a better future.
Fresh Start is a new program that represents an expansion of our emergency shelter (previously called “Thresholds” and serving only men), in order to meet the changing needs of our population.
Women and families seeking immediate shelter, please call 211 (or 414-773-0211) for shelter.
The goal of the Safe Landing program is to rapidly move families into their own housing so that they can gain independence in a sustainable manner. Begun in 2015 with funding from the federal and city governments, the Safe Landing “rapid rehousing” program is a response to recent research that suggests a homeless family will succeed best when connected with individual housing opportunities. Utilizing housing as the core from which a family can improve other aspects of its life, Safe Landing draws participants from the Hope House Fresh Start program, as well as other agencies serving the Milwaukee homeless. Safe Landing is the bridge between emergency shelter and permanent housing—enabling families to move from a situation of homeless to a place of independence and stability. Case Managers at Hope House work with families to locate an apartment or house that fits their needs, then assists each family with rental subsidies based on the family’s income. During the period in which they are receiving subsidies, families also meet regularly with Case Managers to assess their needs, obtain necessary resources and apply for jobs or work towards other income. When families successfully transition out of Safe Landing, they are in a more stable position and can afford to pay rent on their own.
Safe Landing exceeded our expectations for 2015, serving 67 families. In 2016, 127 families were permanently housed.
In order to participate in the Safe Landing program, families must be referred by another agency or be in the Fresh Start program.
Surgeon's Quarters SRO:
For many years, Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Housing kept the homeless, mainly men, off the streets and in housing. However, most local SRO housing was torn down in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and as a result, homelessness spread in the 1980s. The Surgeon’s Quarters Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Program is a joint project of Hope House of Milwaukee, Inc., the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Friends of Housing. The project consists of a 13 bedroom, Section 8 SRO program that provides permanent housing to adult men and women in a communal setting. Along with an individual room, each resident is provided with shared kitchen, living, and bathroom areas. In addition, a case manager works closely with the residents to assess, refer, link and engage each in the necessary supportive services to help maintain stable housing, such as transportation assistance, mental health and substance abuse counseling, educational opportunities, healthcare, and emergency food distribution.
The population of Surgeon’s Quarters SRO consists of adult men and women who are homeless, possessing the attitude and stability conducive to communal living while receiving case management services. All individuals enter the program from extremely low-income backgrounds with inadequate resources to secure housing, and many are veterans.
In 2016, a total of 16 individuals were served by the Surgeon’s Quarters SRO Project. Eighty percent of the new residents this year have been veterans. 100% maintained housing for 6 months or more.
Mercy Housing Johnston Center:
This 91 unit building opened during the summer of 2010 in collaboration with Mercy Housing and is located at 13th and Wind Lake on the South side of Milwaukee. The Johnston Center Residences is dedicated to housing 41 chronically homeless individuals, and 50 Section 8 individuals who are determined to be at high risk of homelessness. Hope House provides 3 full-time, on-site case managers to work with the clients. In addition, a unique and important characteristic of Johnston Center is 24 hour front desk coverage.
In 2014, the Johnston Center provided long-term housing for 43 chronically homeless individuals. Ninety-three percent maintained permanent housing for 6 months or more. To read more about the successes of this program in 2014, click here to access its Annual progress report.