EXCLUSIVE: Part 2 of our interview with homeless advocate Sister MacCannon Brown and why she split from the shelter she founded
Homeless advocate MacCanon Brown can still smile a little bit when recalling her days with the day shelter and concept to preventing homelessness that she created at "Repairers of the Breach."
"There would be days when someone was drinking coffee on the main floor and the coffee would spill through a hole in the floor and fall on a tutor and student!"
It was during much needed renovation a couple of years back that Sister MacCannon says the small board of directors said that they wanted to change the mission she created. They wanted to bring in government funding with a focus on job placement.
Sister says that while valuable, she feared it would leave others in need in limbo.
"I had said a very small percentage would be job ready even with six months of help," explained Brown. "This didn't seem a viable idea to become a job center because some just need basic needs addressed. Or they need help with mental health."
Sister consider the jobs only approach as derailing the mission and with a group of supporters she staged a coup of sorts.
"We did a coup. And when we did that, I was terminated."
After 22 years, there was no hug or thank you. Just a termination letter delivered to her office.
"I died a thousand deaths."
But then something incredible happened. A ground swell of support.
Volunteers with means and knoweldge helped her form a new non profit.
The Sister MacCannon Brown Homeless Sanctuary is now located in an hold warehouse near 24th and Center.
The building has already been purchased but now Sister is working on getting money for the renovations which will include Milwaukee's first ever vision clinic and a floor with fish tanks to grow fresh fish.
"This kind of schism can happen that one can take so personally and die a thousand deaths," says Sister, "But there is something about resurrection that's in us. We can do that."
For more information click here
To see part one click here
To get a complete walk through of her new sanctuary click here