UCN is engaged in ongoing service projects in Ozaukee county and the greater Milwaukee area. Here’s more information about how you can get involved.
Helping the Ozaukee County Homeless: Family Promise
Fulfilling our promise to homeless families
In 2013, UCN spearheaded an effort to bring Family Promise to Ozaukee County following a congregational decision to focus UCN’s social justice work on poverty. Cindy and Pat Kotecki are the currentFamily Promise coordinators for UCN.
Poverty in Ozaukee?
Yes. Approximately 4081 people are below the poverty level in Ozaukee County. This is about the size of the town of Grafton. Approximately 38 children have been identified as homeless by their school districts. Because there is no shelter available in Ozaukee for families that are temporarily homeless, those families have to seek help in WA County, so children often must switch school districts during an already traumatic time. WA County Family Promise received calls from 32 Ozaukee families in 2013; they turned away one-third of them.
What is Family Promise?
Family Promise is a partnership of congregations that offers an opportunity for volunteers of all faiths to reduce homelessness and transform lives. Nationally, Family Promise has nearly 200 affiliates in more than 40 states. They mobilize community resources, including social service agencies — a strategy that helps homeless families achieve lasting independence at a third of the cost of traditional shelters. More information here: http://www.familypromiseozaukee.org/
UCN’s role in the Interfaith Network
Over 20 churches participate in Ozaukee County with 11 having committed to housing families who are without housing for a week at a time during the year. UCN will provide on-site, week-long overnight housing. Upcoming dates at UCN for 2020:
January 19-26, April 26-May 3, August 2-9 and October 25-November 1.
Family Promise has a Day Center with a social worker on staff that provides a place for adults to stay during the day while they look for employment, take care of personal matters, and care for pre-school children. From 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following day, UCN will serve as hosts for the families.
This is a huge – and hugely important – effort. All volunteers (even if you’re just providing food) must attend a quick training session with the coordinators. It’s also a great opportunity for families with children to volunteer. Each day during our week of hosting, volunteers are needed to provide the following:
- Provide food and hospitality 5-8 p.m. (1-2 people)
- Overnight – 8 p.m.-7:30 a.m. (2 people, 1 male, 1 female)
Sign up to help on the sheet on the Family Promise bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall downstairs or by contacting Cindy or Pat Kotecki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing our Plate
Each month UCN shares the weekly offering with a charity group selected by the Social Justice Committee through a nomination process.