Services

Housing

UMCS has 72 units of housing ranging from 2 to 3 bedrooms and 1 to 2 bathrooms in three apartment buildings and 20 townhomes. 53 of these units are designated for low-income families that are heading for self-sufficiency. 15 units are designated for those in the county’s mental health supportive program. 4 units are reserved for families moving out of homelessness.

Residents at UMCS are supported through additional services to ensure that their social, mental, physical and other needs are met.  Through social work and supportive services residents are provided with crisis intervention & mental health monitoring, community building activities & classes, mediation & conflict resolution, and other important family services that help support the wellbeing of families. Additional services include key fob access to ensure safety, a fitness center, computer room, community room, receptionist, and community meals.

In order to live at UMCS, families must meet income requirements, complete an application process with an earnest fee, tour the apartment, and when accepted, pay a security deposit and rent.  All new residents complete an intake process in order to live in supportive housing and ongoing supportive services are available to all residents as they work on their individual needs and goals.

Individuals and families interested in living at UMCS can contact Desiree Morton at 414-344-1818, or can be referred through a number of agencies and organizations including shelters, the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, domestic violence organizations and more.

Growing Tree Children’s Center

The Growing Tree Children’s center is a state licensed, 3-star quality child care program that serves children in the UMCS housing program and the surrounding community.  We offer first shift care for children aged 6 months to 12 years old.

The Growing Tree Children’s Center offers a variety of programming throughout the day - We focus on creating a safe, learning environment for children where they can participate in age-appropriate activities and early literacy curriculum.

We accept both private pay and WI shares from families from any zip code.

Families interested in having their students enrolled in the Growing Tree Children’s Center can call (414)344-1818 or come in for a tour of the facility and if it is a good fit for your child, we will talk about the next steps to enroll your child.

The Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center is located on the Northeast corner of 39th Street and Lisbon Avenue. It includes an Emergency Food Pantry, Stockbox Program, and Clothing/Hygiene product distribution. We also have community events/information available, Food Share representatives, health care workers, and other community partnerships that are in the Resource Center on a rotating basis to help with applications, questions, and concerns.

Hours of operation are:

Emergency Food Pantry -- Monday, and Wednesday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Stockbox Program -- The first four Tuesdays of the month from 9:00am to 11:00am
Clothing Bank – currently closed due to COVID-19

To receive food from the Emergency Food Pantry you may walk in or make an appointment (414)344-1818. You are able to receive food once every 30 days. Please bring a photo ID and a current piece of mail with your address on it for each adult the first time you come to the food pantry. We only need verification of address once a year, unless your address changes. Bring a third party item with each child's name and birthdate on it for each child in your household. This could include a birth certificate, immunization record, school record, birth announcement, or legal paperwork. Once a child's information is in our records you will not need to continue bringing his or her items with you.

To participate in the Stockbox Program you must be an enrolled participant. To qualify for a Stockbox, seniors must be 60 years or older and a resident of Wisconsin and meet the monthly low-income requirements.

When the Clothing Bank reopens (unknown date), to receive clothing or hygiene products you must bring your photo ID, and documentation for all people living in your household. All clothing and hygiene items are donated, and there is no guarantee that items/sizes will be available. You may visit the Clothing Bank once a month.

Community Engagement

UMCS believes that community engagement is an important part of the work that we do in the Washington Park neighborhood. UMCS has been closely involved with community organizing, economic development, resident engagement and housing improvements in the Washington Park neighborhood since it moved into the area in the early 1990's. With the construction of two apartment buildings (34 units), ten townhouses (20 units), and office spaces for community-serving organizations over the years, UMCS has made a long term commitment to the neighborhood.

Over the past several years, UMCS Community Organizers and other staff members have built strong partnerships with a wide array of community-based organizations, schools, businesses, government entities and other institutions that are united in their commitment to supporting the neighborhood. These community partners include the Milwaukee Police Department District #3, the Common Council and City Alder-persons, the Community Grants Development Administration, Urban Ecology Center, Progressive Community Health Centers, Our Next Generation, Love Your Block, Community First, Froedtert Hospital & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Housing Division, Milwaukee Behavioral Health Department, City of Milwaukee Housing Authority, Hunger Task Force, Hmong American Friendship Association, Alverno College, Marquette University, the Mobile Legal Clinic, the 2020 Census and many other Milwaukee organizations.

Community Organizing & Community Health
UMCS invests in the Washington Park neighborhood through the work of its community organizers who help community residents find access to local resources in a number of areas as well as highlight and inform the challenges that need to be addressed in the community through the development of new resources or partnerships. The UMCS Community Health Worker (CHW) collaborates with Froedtert Hospital & the Medical College of Wisconsin to help residents reduce their dependency on high-cost emergency room services and to identify more affordable and effective forms of preventative and therapeutic care. The CHW also connects neighborhood residents to health resources and service providers and organizes a series of health and wellness activities and events throughout the year.

Washington Park Partners
Beginning in 2010, UMCS served as the convening agent and management entity of the former Washington Park Partners group. The agency is committed to building back momentum and support within the community to return to a more coordinated, broad-based level of organization and engagement in NSP Area #11. The return of the CDBG-funded Community Organizer position is a critical component of plans to build that engagement and set the stage for bigger things within the neighborhood. In addition to the Community Organizer position, UMCS will engage with other donors and foundations to secure additional funding to support other full-time positions to form a larger Community Engagement team. Priority positions include those those that are focused on housing and economic justice, home ownership, and commercial revitalization of the Lisbon Avenue corridor.