Supporting homeless veterans in Waukesha County

Supporting homeless veterans in Waukesha County

March 3, 2020

At United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, we are proud to support veterans in our community. 

In December of 2018, United Way made a $15,000 grant to the Wisconsin Veterans Network, also known as “VetsNet,” to support their work with veterans living in Waukesha County. 

Over the course of the next year, VetsNet used these funds to help 19 veterans and their families overcome challenges, including rent and security deposit assistance for those experiencing homelessness, appliance repairs, and hotel stays for those in housing transition. 

“Veterans and their families sacrifice a lot – their mental health, time with family, and sometimes their lives – for the ideals of this country,” said Krystina Kohler, United Way’s Financial Stability Portfolio Manager. “When we learned in 2018 that VetsNet were serving approximately 50 veterans and their family members in crisis Waukesha County, we knew we needed to help.”

The $15,000 grant came from a special pool of resources used specifically to meet needs in Waukesha County. Gifts to United Way’s Community Fund support these efforts. 

“(This) United Way grant found great use at Wisconsin Veterans Network,” said Kelsey Gumm, Navigator at VetsNet. “(One of the people we helped was) a veteran who was a recently single mother of two children. She had to leave her home because of domestic violence and did not have appliances. She came to us in need of a refrigerator and we were able to buy her one with this grant.”

The grant also helped veterans experiencing homelessness find safe and stable housing. “One of these veterans was six months pregnant and needed assistance covering her security deposit so that she could stop living in her car and find adequate housing before her baby arrived,” said Gumm. 

“Many of the veterans that we see...are just days from eviction,” said Gumm. “This grant helped us pay $6,900.00 in back rent for seven veterans who would have otherwise become homeless.”

“The veteran community is resilient, courageous, and strong,” said Gumm. “They represent every racial and ethnic group, both male and female, the complete spectrum of income ranges and ages, and from current Middle East war veterans to World War II veterans. They are a humble but proud group of individuals who are willing to help anyone before they help themselves.”

If you gave to United Way in 2019, thank you - your gift is making a difference for people across our four-county region. If not, click here to get involved.

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