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The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary 2022 

Welcome to our Welcome Center!

It’s hard to describe the joy on April 18, 2022 as the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) ushered in a new era with the first guests to use the Welcome Center and its resources. The focus of this beautifully designed and furnished space is to provide in-depth assistance for people in crisis. Today also saw the first use of the shower. “It felt good, it was good. I appreciate it,” said the guest, who was given a set of clean clothes and a jacket to change in to.

Volunteers and staff teams who served today included the Hospitality Team, the Security Team, a member of the Nursing Team, our Lead Program Coordinator, our Resource/Program Coordinator, the Survey of Needs volunteer, and others. All volunteers and staff are named in the attached photos. Not pictured are custodial volunteer Teresa Harris and bathroom monitor Aaron Cook. These teams and staff comprise the selected Welcome Center Team.

Our Welcome Center Team!

Hospitality Team Waymetta Wilkerson and Carol Knox.

Sister MacCanon and Katy Doss, Lead Program Coordinator.

(Left) Lead Program Coordinator Connie Moorer conducts a needs assessment with a guest. (Right) Survey of Needs: Maxine May

Sister MacCanon eloquently expressed her gratitude. “We thank the hundreds of people who made the opening of this Welcome Center possible,” she said. “Here people in crisis will find real help with their situations.”

Security Team, left to right: Roman James, Karen Dubis, Raymond Woods, Dale Wilburn, and Carol Starr.

For now, guests are served in the Welcome Center on a referral basis only on Mondays and Wednesdays. For more information about the Welcome Center or for consideration call 414-404-0600.

(Left) Our first guest who utilized the shower, and team member Anthony Carter. (Right) Nurse MaryJo Mance conducts a health screen with a guest.

For more information about MBHS and how to help, go to http://www.mbsanctuary.org

 

Welcome Milwaukee Bucks and Pic 'n Save Partners!

Left to Right: Quinn Otero, James Hyland, Bagno, Corey Moore, Sister MacCanon Brown, and Karen Dubis

Two Milwaukee powerhouse organizations, Pick ‘n Save and the Milwaukee Bucks, joined us at our Doorway Ministry today to present MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) with Pick ‘n Save gift cards to distribute to our guests. MBHS is one of six local organizations that will benefit from the $50,000 joint project. We received 75 cards valued at $100 each. Sister MacCanon Brown and Karen Dubis, MBHS Executive Associate, distributed them to guests of our Doorway Ministry on a first-come first-served basis.

“We are excited to tip off our program with Pick and Save this year,” said Quinn Otero, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility at Milwaukee Bucks, handing the box of gift cards to Sister MacCanon and MBHS Food Manager Corey Moore. “You are our first recipients, so we want to present you with these.”

The 10 visitors, all members of Pick ‘n Save’s Corporate Affairs team, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Corporate Social Responsibility team and Partnership Strategy and Mgt team, stayed to volunteer in the cold as part of our regular Tuesday Doorway Ministry, distributing food, clothing, hygiene products, and household goods, in solidarity with MBHS volunteer and staff.

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“We are touched by the fact that the Bucks and Pick ‘n Save leaders are here, not just to be here for a minute, but to volunteer side by side…being with our community, loving our community, loving the people who are often marginalized beyond belief, vulnerable in this community,” said Sister MacCanon. “You are part of our hearts, part of our family, and we want to thank you with all of our hearts.”

The Bucks’ mascot Bango, back at MBHS for his second visit this month, distributed Milwaukee Bucks’ caps to guests, many of whom were delighted to get a picture with this well-loved icon.

James Hyland, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at Roundy's (Pick ‘n Save’s parent company) noted that the organization will be celebrating the 150th anniversary this year. They have a long history of philanthropic work in Wisconsin that focuses on giving back to the communities they serve, with an emphasis on addressing hunger.

The photos below are from a previous engagement when members of the Bucks organization brought the championship trophy for members of the neighborhood to see and photograph. Many smiles were exchanged that day too.

Haircuts from MBHS Outreach!

In so many ways our guests, residents of the 53206 zip code, face daily challenges to self-esteem because of housing and food insecurity, joblessness, and lack of access to health and hygiene care. Because appearance plays a role in how people feel about themselves, MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) has welcomed Ken Brown, co-founder with his wife Harriet, of Haircuts Mobile, to join our Fantastic Fridays ministry at Hephatha Lutheran Church and freshen up our guests with a fresh cut.

“I had it in my heart to give haircuts to the homeless,” Ken said. “I did it in the streets for a while, but it wasn’t always safe. I’m trying to reach out to more people.“

MBHS Program Coordinator Connie Moorer made the connect to Haircuts Mobile by change. Someone mentioned them at a meeting Connie attended, and she was intrigued and immediately thought of the value of this service to MBHS guests. She followed up, and now is happy that they are part of our Ministry.

“I think it’s important for them to be here,“ Connie said. “Ken and Harriet are a married couple, and they look just like the people they serve. They are also entrepreneurs, so they give our guests hope that they can achieve something similar. I hear people talk to Ken in the chair, about their lives, their experiences, and they make a real connection.”

We welcome this addition to our Sanctuary family.

Milwaukee is often called the “city of festivals” because of the many summer celebrations. MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) now has another festival to celebrate: Festival Foods.

On April 3rd, a small coach bus filled with Festival Foods staff came from Green Bay and La Crosse to tour our facility and meet with us, thanks to our dedicated volunteer Dave Liccione. We are now in partnership with them, and in recent weeks fresh meat and other essential food pantry items from a Festival Foods food pantry have made more bountiful our Tuesday Doorway Ministry food distribution.

As most people know, we are established in Wisconsin's most extreme food desert. Many individuals, groups, and communities have helped us become a major food source for approximately 200 households and individuals per week, all of whom are food-insecure people living in either homeless or at-risk conditions.

MBHS Food Manager Corey Moore recognizes the impact of this new partnership. “We keep expanding over the years, getting more and more food for the people of 53206. I want to thank you [Festival Foods] and everyone who supports our project to feed the people.”

We continue to be grateful to the team who have been bringing fresh produce from Feeding America since early in 2015 under the leadership of Tom Bohmann. Their contribution has been and continues to be transformational to the people we serve.

Added to that is the fresh produce from a garden at University School, shared with us year by year, and our very own gardens that have been producing nutritious, culturally appropriate vegetables for four years now, thanks to the hard work of our Garden Team.

 

The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary 2021

We have raised the roof! Well technically the Welcome Center new east entrance addition roof was installed by the Dahlman Construction team, but still July 19th was a red letter day at the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary. This is one more step in the transformation of a 5-story warehouse into a major Help Center for homeless and at-risk people citywide and in the 53206 zip code.

         

Above, left to right: Susan Neidorfler, Connie Moorer, Diane Holman, Sister MacCanon Brown, Jack Dahlman, Aletha Lillie, and Dave Liccione.

What a wonderful new day for the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) as Alderman Russell Stamper toured MBHS on July 13. It is also a wonderful day for his vision for Milwaukee’s 15th District and his relationship with MBHS. 

During his tour of our building at 2461 W. Center St., Alderman Stamper complimented the new construction completed in the building, recalling that he remembered the building as “a wreck.” He conveyed admiration for the Welcome Center and MBHS’s vision of having so many crucial services in one location.

At the same time, he commended what MBHS has been able to accomplish and sustain in extremely difficult times, especially throughout the pandemic when we frequently had between 100-150 guests per day at our Center Street Doorway Ministry.

During his visit Alderman Stamper greeted volunteers, staff, and guests, many of whom he knew from growing up and working in service of the area. He listened and responded to their stories and shared handshakes and laughter.

MBHS looks forward to working together to serve those whose who are in crucial need of our services.

Celebration, solidarity, support and strawberry soda were in abundance at Milwaukee's Juneteenth celebrations, and the MBHS's presence added to what MBHS Program Coordinator Connie Moorer described as, "A truly beautiful day." 

Sister MacCanon Brown and Guests

Volunteer Cynthia Wright and staff members Waymetta Wilkerson, Connie Moorer and Geraldine Lucas talked with more than 250 people about our mission and services, handed out informational flyers and received names and contact information for more than 25 people who are interested in volunteering. 

"I wanted to make sure, on this day especially, that we got a lot of information out to let people know what we're doing," said Connie Moorer.  "A lot of people were curious and interested.  Many had seen our building and our sign but weren't sure just what the MBHS was.  Now they know."  She added that visitors to the MBHS table were area residents and also suburban people who had come to the city to celebrate Juneteenth Day. 

We had a good time and did a lot of networking. People were so happy to be able to gather together again. The MBHS women began the day before at 6:00 a.m. and ended after 3:00 p.m. “We ran out of flyers at 1:00, but people kept coming,” Connie Moorer said.  Earlier this week President Joe Biden, declaring it “one of the greatest honors” of his presidency, signed a bill establishing Juneteenth Day—June 19th—as a federal holiday.

Pictured from left: Cynthia Wright, Waymetta Wilkerson, Connie Moorer, and Geraldine Lucas.

A three-man team from Running Rebels began transforming a space in the basement of the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary with a fresh coat of paint to match the fresh vision for the work we do.

Kevin Simmons, Max Bryant, and Jon Bell braved the heat to begin prepping what will become an intermediate sorting and organizing room for donations once the Welcome Center is ready for occupancy.

Running Rebels, a Milwaukee-based non-profit, offers a variety of programs to mentor, engage, educate, and support Milwaukee’s young people. Begun in 1980 by 19-year-old Victor Barnett, they now serve 2,500 youth annually.

Pictured in group photos, left to right, Jon Bell, Kevin Simmons, MBHS’s interior design professional Sheila Semrou, Sister MacCanon Brown, and Max Bryant.  

Do you believe in our Vision?  You can help support this work.

•To donate by check, our address is

MBHS
PO Box 80165
Milwaukee, WI 53208

•To donate online via Paypal, go to our website at www.mbsanctuary.org. This is a credit-secure process; your information will not be shared with anyone.

•Consider donating in honor or in memory of someone. Please designate Building Fund or General Fund.

We welcome gifts of liquidated stock. Our organization is an audited 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. MBHS maintains a contractual relationship with a respected accounting firm. Financial contributions are tax deductible as allowed by the extent of the law. Letters of acknowledgment guaranteed.