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The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary 2024       

On June 2nd when the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary community "inspirited" our annual community garden blessing event. It was an immersion in "Oneness."

Thanks to Princess Safiya Byers for the attached photos.

This event took place at the MBHS Growing Space at 2652 – 2658 N. 24th Place, Milwaukee, which MBHS has converted into an urban agricultural and performance site. It is located directly across the street from the Sanctuary-owned facility at 2461 W. Center Street.

We encourage you also to peruse a vibrant album of photos taken by Bob Maranan; go to his website link: MB Homeless Sanctuary Garden Dedication 2024

Adekola Adedapo led an indigenous African ceremony of blessing after Drums Up Guns Down 414 led by Oju Charleston led a drum circle. Attendees included the MBHS garden “Green Team” including neighborhood residents and suburban garden volunteers, MBHS program participants, volunteers, staff, Board members and representatives of MBHS partnering faith communities and other guests.

Holly Morse was emcee. The planning team included Gail Anshus, Cathy Lathrop, Christy Maranan and Maya Maranan.

We were honored to welcome Congresswoman Gwen Moore; State Senator LaTonya Johnson; and State Representative Supreme Moore Omokunde, all of whom spoke.



Words and prayers of blessing were offered by numerous faith community partners of MBHS; they include various Protestant Churches, Catholic Parishes; also including our Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh and Muslim partnering communities.

The MBHS "Sanctuary Singers," a group of neighborhood women MBHS program participants, sang African songs in traditional garb.

Located in a “food desert” in the 53206 zip code, MBHS volunteers have been harvesting 18 large raised garden beds for planting there since 2019 as a demonstration of MBHS’ commitment to help reverse food scarcity, provide nutritional food to residents and reversing lead toxicity,


The construction for phase 2 of the first floor of our building at 2461 W. Center Street is almost complete.  We have opened a part of our wall on the first floor and replaced it with windows and so much more. 

Please see below.

While inside, the walls are being completed, along with the entire sprinkler system on all 5 floors, finishings in closing the walls, tiling, working on the offices, the gathering space and dining room will be finished soon.


In April of 2024, we were blessed to have Tiffany Koehler join our team as our Volunteer Coordinator.  Tiffany is a Veteran with a lot of experience behind her.  We are thrilled that she joined our sanctuary.


Each year we have had a summer toy drive to make sure that the children of the neighborhood have an opportunity to obtain bikes and other toys to make memories with as they grow.  Thank you to all of the amazing donations and volunteers that are on hand to help.

The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary is pleased to announce the hiring of Princess Safiya Byers as our new Social Media/Communications Specialist.

Princess Safiya is a graduate of Marquette University. Since 2020 she has been a reporter for the Neighborhood News Service. She is also a professional photographer. Ron Smith, her supervisor at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, says this of

Princess Safiya Byers says "I've long admired the work done and the community created at the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary. I am excited to join at this time and help amplify the work that this dynamic organization does everyday."


After our 10 year Anniversary at the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary we have come a long way. We were able to raise over $80,000 at this celebratory fundraiser at the Hilton.

Miss Dorothy James, our Resource Coordinator and Assistant Personnel Manager sang an inspirational prayer.

The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary 2023 


We have many items donated to the Sanctuary, but some of the most needed items are "Mercy Mats" made from plastic bags, that allow people to no longer sleep on the floor but on mats and sleeping bags that will help to reduce some of the strife of being poor. Thank you!


Our tutoring program has been up and running!!!!!!!! What an Honor ! -- to surround ourselves with people always reaching higher !

On Friday, May 17, 2023 MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) celebrated 12 people reaching higher.

Together, united as the Sanctuary community, we all celebrated the progress of students participating in the MBHS Literacy Program as we do every six months.

Scholars: Taquisha Jordan, Tara Hudson, Anthony Carter, Waymetta Wilkerson, Latoya Tompkins, Terrance Tompkins, Lorraine Oatis, Leola Lee, Corey Moore, Nevada Donnell, Georgia Ward, and Barbara Davenport received certificates from Literacy Services of Wisconsin for their hard work.

And “Soaring Scholars” Taquisha Jordan, Tara Hudson, Anthony Carter, Waymetta Wilkerson, and Latoya Tompkins were recognized for attending the program with consistency and were awarded with laptop computers because of their hard work.

Photos by Princess Safiya Byers show a sampling of images from the recognition event.

“The beaming faces of the students and their tutors tells the whole story! Lives are being transformed through the MBHS tutoring program. We are all blessed by the strong relationships we are forming,” said Tutoring Program Coordinator Holly Morse.



Free Lead Testing has gone on for over a year now!

Under the direction of Lead Program Coordinator Katie Doss, our Lead program has soared.



In 2023 we were honored to bring a new employee to the maccanon brown homeless sanctuary (MBHS). Miss dorothy james is a respected community leader and a cofounder of MBHS.  Miss Dorothy says she brings a heart's desire to fully support the vision and work of mbhs, something she says has always been in her intentions.  her track record of effective community work includes big brothers big sisters and heartlove place.  even though she has never left, the mbhs community welcomes miss dorothy in her new role! many will remember her talent as a vocalist.  She created a gospel choir which performed in numerous churches; and went on to sing in the mps alumni choir.



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.


MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) welcomes our new part-time staff member, Katie Doss. Katie is a dedicated long-time volunteer who will start her position of Lead Program Coordinator on March 1st and provide awareness, education and prevention activities. This is work that comes directly from the heart; Katie’s granddaughter was hospitalized at age four for having high levels of lead in her blood and still suffers the effects.

Katie has a successful employment background in the business sector. Because of her genuine concern regarding lead contamination she has

developed excellent advocacy skills and is a very good spokesperson.

Katie said she feels good to be a part of the mission of the Homeless Sanctuary, in part because she can relate to our guests. “As a single mother, I’ve seen what it’s like to struggle and to make ends meet the best ways you can,” she said.


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 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


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.


“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.

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 are so excited to announce the latest wonderful addition to our Ministry! The pavilion / gathering space is now erected in the southeast corner of our Community Gardens at 2652/2658 N. 24th Place. While gatherings are at a minimum these days, MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary (MBHS) continues to move forward in bringing people together. “The pavilion will be a gem in our community-building in a neighborhood where people have been so disconnected,” said Sister MacCanon.

The pavilion was designed by Ryan Bourland from Nagel Architects and constructed by Groundwork Milwaukee, who were instrumental in creating our community gardens.

“Through the vision of Sister MacCanon Brown, we developed a pavilion that creates a stage for community gatherings,” Ryan said. “This will empower others with knowledge on effective gardening techniques as well as open up interactions between all the different cultures found here in Milwaukee,” he added. “This space will help tighten the community through learning and socializing.”

(Photo and narrative by Jill Newton Moore)


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 a truly beautiful day. 

Sister MacCanon Brown and Guests

Volunteer Cynthia Wright and Waymetta Wilkerson and others 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. 

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.  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, and Max Bryant.  

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

•To donate by check, our address is


PO Box 80165

Milwaukee, WI 53208

•To donate online via Paypal, go to our website at 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.