Why We Do It

The People:

Amy’s Story
Chris’ Story
David and Susan’s Story

 

The Need:

Local
  • As of May 27, 2015, 1,358 students had experienced homelessness in the Brown County School Districts during the 2014-2015 school year
  • On any given night, over 500 individuals are residing in Brown County’s homeless shelters. Of these, 60 percent have a diagnosed disability. Nearly one in three are children.
  • 1,865 Individuals resided in Brown County homeless shelters in 2014
  • 55% were experiencing homelessness for the first time in at least two years
  • 15% were chronically homeless [Continuously homeless for at least one year or four episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years and have a physical disability or mental health diagnosis]
  • The oldest individual identified as chronically homeless in Brown County was 84 years old.
  • The annual number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin is down 3% since peaking in 2011.
State
  • 27,262 Individuals resided in a Wisconsin homeless shelter in 2014
  • 61% were experiencing homelessness for the first time in at least two years
  • 13% were chronically homeless [Continuously homeless for at least one year or four episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years and have a physical disability or mental health diagnosis]
  • “The annual number of persons experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin has increased by approximately 18% since 2010. This is at odds with a national decrease in homelessness.” (icalliances.org, The State of Homelessness in Wisconsin 2013)
National
  • On the night of January 29, 2014, 578,424 Americans were experiencing homelessness.
  • Of these, 49,933 were military veterans
  • 15% were chronically homeless [Continuously homeless for at least one year or four episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years and have a physical disability or mental health diagnosis]
  • The number of people in poverty living doubled up with family and friends remained relatively stable from 2011 to 2012 with 27 states seeing a decrease while 24 states saw an increase. (Wisconsin increased by 7 percent)

Sources Cited:
http://www.bchhcwi.org/pit%20counts.htm
http://www.bchhcwi.org/index_htm_files/Brown%202015.pdf
http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/snapshot_of_homelessness

The Call:

We believe we are called to follow the Gospel mandate to care for those in need. Below is just a selection of the multitude of verses calling us to care for those in need and fight for social justice.

“He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.’
Matthew 25:33-46

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4

“I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” Psalm 140:12

“Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court.” Proverbs 22:22

“He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8