Housing as a prescription for children’s health

Adequate housing provides more than just shelter; it supports a safe and stable environment for children to live and play. Families are healthier when they live in decent homes they can afford without having to double-up, move frequently or be exposed to things like mold, lead or pests.

Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, is a nationally recognized expert on the concept of a stable and affordable home as a “prescription” to keep kids healthy.

Join us for a discussion on how housing can be a prescription for children’s health.

Register here for free tickets

Thursday, April 11th 6pm – 7pm

Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church, 1529 N. Wauwatosa Ave, Wauwatosa, WI

Presented by:




Wells Fargo announces significant investment in Midtown neighborhood’s affordable housing

On March 7, Wells Fargo volunteers were in the heart of the Midtown neighborhood to raise the first wall of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity’s 2019 build season. During the morning wall-raising, Region Bank President Tony Nguyen announced a $200,000 grant supporting Milwaukee Habitat’s Midtown 100 initiative.

The wall-raising marks the beginning of year two of Midtown 100, Milwaukee Habitat’s initiative to build, rehab and repair 100 homes in the Midtown neighborhood through 2020. This ambitious project will create the highest concentration of affordable, single-family homes built in Milwaukee since WWII.

Wells Fargo’s grant will directly impact the Midtown neighborhood families in need of safe, affordable housing, and will help fund affordable homeownership and repairs for qualifying families.

See photos from today’s build!


Thrivent Brings Faith Community Together To Help Single Mother Build Safe, Affordable Home

As a single mother of five, Latashia is working hard to give her children the opportunities they need to succeed. However, their two bedroom rental didn’t offer nearly enough space for their large family. Knowing she needed a bigger home, Latashia began the uphill battle of trying to find a safe home that she could afford.

What she found on the open market was either out of her price range or in areas she wouldn’t feel safe raising a family. Latashia’s not alone. Milwaukee is currently steeped in an affordable housing crisis where nearly 60% of renters are living in unaffordable housing. That’s when she reached out to Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.

In an effort spearheaded by Thrivent Financial, the organization brought together nearly 30 area churches to help Latashia build a brand new four bedroom home for her family. Thanks to their financial and volunteer support, Latashia now owns a home with enough space and a mortgage she can afford.

“It is inspiring to work alongside Habitat families, Thrivent members and other volunteers to build and repair homes,” said Lisa Truong, a Community Engagement Leader with Thrivent. “Sharing our time and talents to live generously and strengthen our community is a great way to get to know our neighbors and make a real difference.”

Individuals who gave their time and financial support joined Latashia and her children as they celebrated the closing of her home. As her youngest daughter, Nylaa, cut the ceremonial ribbon on their front porch, Latashia thanked God for the strength to build this home for her family.

Latashia’s home is part of Milwaukee Habitat’s Midtown 100 initiative to build, rehab and repair 100 homes in the Midtown neighborhood in just three years.


Annual Report

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Does Marie Kondo have you Tidying Up?

Marie-fever has officially arrived. The budding Netflix star has been traveling the country helping families tidy up and get rid of things they no longer need. In her show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo‘ she takes families through an almost zen-like process of determining if possessions spark joy.

The action is quite simple, but wildly effective. Marie instructs folks to choose a room of their home. From there, the person takes account of a number of belongings, whether that be shirts, books, etc…Then, one by one, items are picked up and asked one simple question: “Does this spark joy?”

If the item does spark joy, the person keeps it. If not, Marie instructs that you should thank the item and get rid of it. “Giving sincere thanks to an item will significantly reduce or even eliminate any guilt you may feel when you decide that you will no longer have it in your home,” she says. “I understand that for some people it may seem strange to thank items, but if you try it you’ll be surprised by its effectiveness. Keeping an item beyond the time it sparks joy for you will only diminish the care and appreciation you have for the other items in your life.”

You can use this system for more than just clothes and books. In fact, I used it on my dog recently with surprising results. She had too many toys cluttering up our living room so, one by one, I put them in front of her and asked her if they sparked joy. Though she certainly didn’t recognize my command, it was abundantly clear which ones she liked and the ones she didn’t really care for anymore. We cut her toy pile nearly in half!

Now think about your own life. Maybe a cluttered basement or storage unit gathering items? How could you tidy up? Well ReStore can help.

ReStore offers a free pickup service for large donations and three convenient donation centers in Milwaukee county. Once you’ve thanked your items, we can make sure that usable goods get to spark joy in someone else’s life! The joy train doesn’t stop there. Not only will someone else find joy in your items, but the proceeds will help a family in need build a safe, stable home. ALL THE JOY!

For more information about tidying up with ReStore:
Call: 414-316-5651
Email: restoredonation@milwaukeehabitat.org (send pictures)


The Surprise of a Lifetime

Story by: Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Shortly after 10 a.m., a car stops in front of the home.

A large crowd has gathered and it falls silent as three boys, ages 9, 7 and 4, jump out the back, their snowboots plopping on the pavement.

A moment later, their mother, Sade, comes around the side of the car and gathers them together.

They stare at the crowd. The crowd stares back. A moment passes, then the crowd joins Dunn in giving the family a cheer.

It’s not that Sade isn’t expecting people. Staff at Habitat for Humanity had told her there would be a traditional blessing of the home and that her house, which she helped build, was already a piece of Habitat history.

So Sade is expecting a crowd. What she isn’t expecting is this:

Through Dunn’s charity and other Habitat partners, Sade’s new home has been furnished. Entirely.

Continue reading…

This amazing gift of furnishings was made possible through a partnership with Warrick Dunn Charities, Keller Williams Northshore & Colder’s. Sade, like all Milwaukee Habitat homeowners, helped build her own home and pays an affordable mortgage.


Milwaukee Habitat Awarded Social Enterprise of Year

This November, Biztimes Media presented Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity with the 2018 Social Enterprise of the Year Award. This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that demonstrates creative application of the principles of social enterprise in the operation and funding of the organization.

In particular, the award focused on our ReStore operations for creating a sustainable fundraising source which has grown to three stores throughout Milwaukee County. In 2017, Milwaukee’s ReStores sold more than $2 million worth of donated materials, raising crucial funds to build safe, affordable homes in our community.

ReStore offers free pickup service for large donations and three convenient donation centers/stores…find out more here.

Read about all the winners from the Biztimes Media Nonprofit Excellence Awards here.


Zurn Industries/Rexnord Corporation Invests $75k into Midtown 100 Initiative

Zurn Industries, a Rexnord Company, has invested $75,000 in Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity’s Midtown 100 initiative. The funds will be used to help the organization build, rehab and repair 100 homes in the Midtown neighborhood over the next three years.

This significant investment will help transform blocks of empty lots in the Midtown neighborhood into the highest concentration of affordable, single-family homes built in Milwaukee since WWII.

“We are excited to expand our nearly two decades-long relationship with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity,” said Todd A. Adams, President and CEO of Rexnord Corporation. “Together with our Zurn business, we are committed to contributing to the communities where we live and work around the world and through our work with Habitat, we are able to make a positive impact right here in Milwaukee.”

In addition to financial support, the company will donate Zurn® brand plumbing products for new homes and the Habitat warehouse, and employees will volunteer alongside future homeowners on Habitat’s build sites. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes and pay an affordable mortgage.

“We absolutely couldn’t tackle such an ambitious project in Midtown without the support of companies like Zurn and Rexnord,” says Milwaukee Habitat’s Executive Director Brian Sonderman. “Together we can make affordable homeownership possible for local families, while revitalizing central city neighborhoods.”

With nearly three in five Milwaukee renters living in unaffordable housing, the city is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. While creating affordable housing opportunities, Milwaukee Habitat seeks to replicate the outcomes achieved in the Washington Park neighborhood, where crime decreased 48% on the blocks where they built from 2013-2018.

About Rexnord and Zurn Industries

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rexnord is comprised of two strategic platforms, Process & Motion Control and Water Management, with approximately 8,000 employees worldwide. The Process & Motion Control platform designs, manufactures, markets and services specified, highly-engineered mechanical components used within complex systems. The Water Management platform designs, procures, manufactures and markets products that provide and enhance water quality, safety, flow control and conservation. Additional information about the Company can be found at rexnordcorp.com.

Zurn Industries, LLC is a Rexnord company and a recognized leader in commercial, municipal, healthcare and industrial markets. Zurn offers the largest breadth of engineered water solutions, including a wide spectrum of sustainable plumbing products. Zurn delivers total building solutions for new construction and retrofit applications that enhance any building’s environment. For more information, visit Zurn.com.


First Midtown 100 Family Moves In

Tiara, a mother of two (one an infant), for the past few years has been raising her young daughter in what she describes as a “concrete townhouse.” Simple concrete block, without insulation, was all that’s been separating her family from the cold Wisconsin winters. Heating bills had been through the roof. On top the mounting heating bills, Tiara’s landlord had raised the cost of her rental twice in just over a year.

With help from Milwaukee Habitat, Tiara built a safe, affordable home becoming the first family of Milwaukee Habitat’s historic Midtown 100 initiative. Thanks to your support, Tiara now owns a home where she can raise her children for years to come.

99 more homes are being built, rehabbed and repaired in the Midtown neighorhood over the next three years to create the highest concentration of affordable, single family homes built in Milwaukee since WWII.

Like, love and share photos of Tiara’s house dedication on Facebook

Make a gift to help more families like Tiara’s


Midtown Block Being Transformed Thanks to Komatsu

As part of their historic Midtown 100 initiative, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is transforming the 2000 block of North 30th street from a large vacant lot into a row of brand new affordable homes. More than 400 volunteers were on site the second week of September to completely frame four new homes thanks to support from Komatsu, a global company with subsidiary headquarters in Milwaukee.

The heavy equipment and technology company, who next year will mark 135 years of doing business in Milwaukee, is sponsoring two of the four homes being framed. Komatsu employees will make up nearly half of the volunteers who will be working alongside future homeowners raising the walls of these homes.

These are the 20th and 21st homes Komatsu has built in partnership with Milwaukee Habitat, a partnership that has now exceeded $1.4 million in financial support and 7600 employee volunteer hours since 2011.

Milwaukee Habitat’s Midtown 100 initiative to build, rehab and repair 100 homes over the next three years will create the highest concentration of affordable single-family homes built in Milwaukee since World War II.

Watch CBS58’s coverage of the Komatsu Build

Find out how your business or organization can get involved