MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM - 1,121 Contacts A contributing factor to homelessness is mental illness. Our collaboration with the Homeless Outreach Nursing Center focuses on connecting with and stabilizing the lives of the homeless mentally ill. Twice weekly at our Breakfast Program, mental health staff provided information/referral and general screening services to 782 guests and direct mental health services to 339.
LEGAL ASSISTANCE - 68 Clinics
Unresolved legal issues are often barriers to housing and job acquisition/retention. Our collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, along with volunteer attorneys, addresses such issues at both our Breakfast and Dinner Programs on a weekly basis. At the Breakfast site, 49 clinics serving 123 guests were held. Municipal citations comprised 33% of issues dealt with; next closest, all at 6%, were driver’s license recovery, criminal, and landlord/tenant issues. The Dinner site offered 19 clinics serving 17 guests with the majority of issues focusing on landlord/tenant and municipal citations.
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE - 39 visits
Staff from St. Ben’s Medical Clinic provided blood pressure checks and medical referrals at our breakfast site for 244 guests and conducted flu shot clinics serving 55 guests.
SUNDRIES FROM THE AVENUE - 25,060 Items Distributed
Toiletry items (soap, lotion, shampoo, laundry soap, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant) were distributed monthly to guests at our St. James’ Saturday Lunch by Sundries from the Avenue, a ministry of St. James’ Episcopal Church. This ministry is particularly important at this downtown location where a majority of Gathering guests are homeless.
BAG LUNCH/SANDWICH PROJECT - 82 Distributions
Sixteen different groups provided bag lunches or sandwiches for Gathering guests to take home with them following the Saturday Lunch meals. This is especially important on Saturdays since the next large scale meal available is not until noon Sunday. An estimated 13,625 bag lunches were distributed valued at $20,438.
FRESH PRODUCE PRESERVATION PROJECT - 1,330 Pounds Frozen
This project (in its third year in 2012) focuses on preserving excess donated produce received during the growing season for use in our winter meals, providing additional flavor and nutrition. The 2012 growing season suffered a severe drought affecting the amount of produce available. However, 2,225 pounds of bell peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots and green beans were still donated by area farmers, gardeners and food banks. 43 volunteers (270 donated hours) processed the donations into 1,330 pounds of frozen produce.