Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evening, 156-nights per year, the Street Angels Chef and kitchen volunteers prepare hot, fresh and nutritious meals, package them in individual to-go containers and then into thermal meal bags to keep them hot. Once the meals are packaged, the two outreach buses are loaded with the hot meals, bag lunches, clothing, blankets and other basic needs. Each bus is operated by 1-staff member and 2-3 volunteers and each team travels a specific 4 to 5-hour route through Milwaukee County. One route focuses on the Southern part of the County and the other on the Northern and Downtown area of the City. The routes stay consistent so people know where and when to find Street Angels. There is an average of 35-40 stops per route which include homeless encampments, park & ride lots, beneath bridges and public meeting spots.
Through providing consistency, hot meals made with love and other basic survival needs, Street Angels is able to gain trust and develop a partnership with individuals to assist them in developing strategies to obtain shelter, housing, treatment and other vital services.
Street Angels partners with Milwaukee County Housing Division, 2-1-1, and other providers to coordinate efforts and ensure that every available resource is utilized to get people into permanent housing. The time between the first night of homelessness and the first night in shelter/permanent housing needs to be a time of support and hope, that is Street Angels mission.
COMMUNITY COLLABORATION OUTREACH
The Street Angels full-time staff and partners from Milwaukee Fire Department, West Allis Fire Department, UMOS, Wisconsin Community Services, Community Medical Services, Samaad’s House and Hunger Task Force have teamed up to provide community collective outreaches as part of our programming. This is a daytime service offered outdoors in various places throughout the city to anyone in need. The program offers resources from basic needs to mental health care access, harm reduction and AODA treatment services. Because of these partnerships Street Angels is able to offer harm reduction equipment to those we serve during the night outreach and all of the Street Angels outreach staff has been trained to be trainers in the use and distribution of Narcan.
To assist with furthering our reach into community resources and referral agencies, Street Angels brought on a Full-Time Outreach Specialist in June of 2022 who holds a certificate in training for substance abuse counseling. He is able to dedicate his time to serving on the outreach, providing referrals to treatment services, offering treatment support, connecting with community partners to participate in overdose prevention events and collaborative outreaches, collecting and reporting data, and offering assistance with various life obstacles that those who are experiencing homelessness face on a day-to-day basis.
"SHOWERS OF HOPE" HYGIENE PROGRAM
This program allows guests to receive clean clothing, hygiene products, a bag lunch and a private 15-minute shower. Currently this program operates on Friday's from 1pm-3pm between May & October. However, an expansion plan is in progress for this program. In partnership with the Kohler Company, Street Angels will be unveiling a mobile shower trailer in Spring of 2024. The unit will provide (3)- shower stalls, (1)- ADA accessible, and will initially operate two days per week. The intent is to combine the shower program and the community collaborative outreach to offer easy access to basic needs and to make huge strides in getting people connected to vital services. LOVE AND DIGNITY ON WHEELS!
COMMUNITY EDUCATION & AWARENESS
Bringing awareness to issues surrounding homelessness through Street Angels presentation, “Getting to Know Your Neighbors Without Homes”. This presentation has been provided to various groups including local law enforcement, Froedtert Hospital security team through NAMI’s CIT training, The National Weather Service Team of SE WI and WISCAP 2022 Poverty Matters Conference. To sustainably solve a problem, we must first understand it.