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MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary project near 24th and Center shows progress

NOW: MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary project near 24th and Center shows progress

NEXT:

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A five-story construction project aims to be a central resource for people experiencing homelessness in the Milwaukee area.

CBS 58 spent time at the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary on Monday, October 7 to see the progress being made on the project. It’s a partnership with numerous local businesses.

It’ll be a five-story refuge complete with alcohol and substance abuse counseling.

Here's more details about the project: 

WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THIS FIRST PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION?

The first phase of development will be the Welcome Center, a daytime sanctuary and help center. It will provide a violence-free space with linkages to other services, especially for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Welcome Center will greatly expand current services offered by MBHS—providing refuge from the cold or heat, as well as access to showers and bathrooms. In addition to addressing basic human needs, there will be more capacity to accommodate guests, assess their needs and provide a toolbox of what people need to advance in their life situations. MBHS will also have the ability to provide programming onsite for those recovering from AODA and/or trauma. Plans include serving as an emergency warming room during extremely cold temperatures.

HOW MUCH WILL PHASE ONE COST AND HOW WILL IT BE PAID FOR?

Phase One has a $509,200 price tag. The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary organization is not taking out a loan but seeks the support of compassionate donors from the private sector. Donor support of the organization, launched in spring of 2014, has grown to more than 800 individuals and other funding sources.

WHEN WAS THIS CONSTRUCTION PROJECT APPROVED?

The Board of Zoning gave approval September 12.

MORE DETAIL ABOUT THE BUILDING AND FUTURE “BIG PICTURE”

MBHS purchased the facility December 30, 2016 seeking to develop the five-story warehouse in the 53206 zip code into a community center offering a maximum range of crucially needed daytime solutions for Milwaukee’s most vulnerable residents.

Beyond Phase One, the first floor will also offer a nutritional meal program; access to medical and mental health services; and access to an expansive scope of linkages and resources.
Further phases of the Expansion Project will focus on the 2nd – 5th floors of the building. Plans are underway to create (1) an Employment Floor that includes a Maker Space, an in-house industry, and other employability support; (2) a Medical Floor that includes a free health care clinic, a free vision clinic, a foot-care clinic, and other medical support services; (3) an Interior Urban Agriculture Floor that provides an aquaponics system with table-top gardens in collaboration with MSOE; and (4) a Public Forum Floor with meeting rooms and an auditorium to improve community solidarity.

The building was designed by Thomas and Alexander Eschweiler, famous Milwaukee architect brothers (now deceased) who created it in 1927 to be a furnace factory. In recent years it has been a warehouse. The five-story building has 35,000 square feet. We will develop the first floor

WHO HAVE THE KEY ROLES IN THIS PROJECT

General Contractor -- Jack Dahlman (Dahlman Construction Company); Architect -- Greg Schumacher (Cityscape Architecture); Structural Engineer -- John Goetter (GRAEF-USA INC.); Interior Design Professional -- Sheila Semrou (Sheila Semrou Consulting LLC).

WHO IS SERVED BY THE MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary:

Nearly all of our outreach participants cope with being at-risk-of-homelessness, or living in various homeless or doubled-up homeless situations.

Although the geographic reach for MBHS’ daytime sanctuary and supportive services is the Greater Milwaukee Area, MBHS chooses to establish outreach efforts, both now and in the future, in the epicenter of poverty in Wisconsin: the hyper-segregated 53206 zipcode area with its poverty rate of 48%; Milwaukee’s food desert; and the zip code with the highest incarceration rate in America. In this zip code there is a concentration of people who live in homeless conditions, especially “doubled-up” homeless, and large numbers of persons who are at-risk of homelessness. People come to us for help from other parts of Milwaukee based on word of mouth or referrals by the Crisis Line and MPD

DESCRIPTION OF MBHS PRESENCE UP TO PRESENT:

Incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization in 2014, the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary has offered outreach at two programming sites—both in the impoverished 53206 zip code. Between the two sites, we are currently impacting the lives of approximately 250 men, women, and children each week.

OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION:

In March of 2014, MBHS was launched as a new start-up nonprofit with no money and no resources. Founders created MBHS in order for MacCanon Brown’s successful 22-year track record of work with Milwaukee’s homeless to continue, seeing her vision as clearly needed in the safety net of Milwaukee. They gave it MacCanon Brown’s name in 2014 -- against her wishes -- to recognize her legacy of effective leadership in serving Milwaukee’s most vulnerable residents.

HOW CAN PEOPLE DONATE? ARE DONATIONS TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

HOW TO DONATE: Your check made out to MBHS can be mailed to MBHS, P.O. Box 80165, Milwaukee, WI 53208. Write BUILDING FUND in the memo. Consider donating in honor or in memory of someone. We welcome gifts of liquidated stock. Or credit-secure donations can be made via Paypal at our website at www.mbsanctuary.org. 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 acknowledgement guaranteed.

The homeless sanctuary is located near 24th and Center.

The hope is to have a new welcome center and daytime sanctuary up and running by April of 2020.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary project.

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