Street Angels Milwaukee Outreach is a nonprofit volunteer-based organization that reaches out into the community three nights a week, 156 days a year. Our handful of volunteers load two small transportation buses with basic survival needs such as food (a hot meal for the moment and a lunch for later), blankets, socks, tents and hygiene items. The team then travels a five-hour route to distribute these basic, yet much needed items. While the items offered are a vital need, most importantly, these items are used as a tool to build trust and open the lines of communication.
At each of the 22 stops at various homeless encampments and/or meeting locations, Street Angels connects with an average of 50-75 homeless individuals during winter months, and an average of 100-130 homeless individuals in the summer. The consistency and companionship that our team offers allows us to create relationships with the people we serve, and for many, it is an opportunity to open up and trust someone.
We do not refer to the people we serve as clients or cases; we refer to them as friends. This bond of trust and genuine friendship is a huge factor in the our team's ability to offer guidance and a helping hand toward a better path for the future. While the aim of the outreach mission is to make an immediate impact on the individuals in need, our long term goal is to connect them to agencies with more tangible resources such as case management, AODA programs and housing.
In three years, Street Angels has:
- Connected 162 individuals to permanent housing and case management
- Logged 175,500 volunteer hours
- Traveled 32,000 miles
- Provided 30,000 hot meals
- Provided 20,000 bag lunches
- Distributed 27,000 pairs of socks