"It's a big loss for us:" UNISON ending programs, laying off all employees

NOW: “It’s a big loss for us:“ UNISON ending programs, laying off all employees

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- UNISON has announced that they are ending their programs and laying off all employees.

This comes after the former CEO was arrested last year for suspicion of embezzlement of funds.

In a statement, the social services agency said they've lost grant money and funding support since the arrest.

The Board of Directors has decided they can no longer continue their programs.

The former CEO was never charged with any wrongdoing. In January, UNISON stated there was no evidence of embezzlement. 

“It has been our great privilege to serve seniors, children, and families throughout the greater Milwaukee area,” said Cathy Young, UNISON executive director. “Our staff and volunteers have been deeply committed to serving this community, and we are deeply saddened to have to
make this difficult decision.”

UNISON serves 15,000 people annually and those who utilize its services are sad to see it go. 

“It’s a big loss for us, you know they help us keep motivated and keep going and not give up," said Sharon Davis. 

About 12 programs will be phased out including Community Gardening and Supportive Home Care. 

“They help us with our paperwork, they help us with our insurances and help out how to get our Medicare," said Davis.

The Milwaukee County Department on Aging is working to pick up the pieces to ensure the services provided UNISON can continue.

The Milwaukee County Department on Aging learned late yesterday of the closure of Unison. We are working hard to identify community agencies that are able to take on these contracts and ensure the vital services formerly provided by Unison can continue. We are confident that together with our community partners we will be able to pick up the pieces and build a stronger network of aging services. The Milwaukee County Department on Aging remains dedicated to meeting the needs of older adults and connecting them to meaningful and empowering resources in our community.

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