The Cathedral Center’s (CCI) mission is to provide a safe environment for women and families while working to end homelessness, one life at a time. To achieve our mission, we offer emergency shelter and case management services for women and families who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis. CCI targets a population that is vulnerable to victimization and we are one of the only agencies in Milwaukee that serves individual women and single fathers with their children. Our shelter model also enables us to keep nuclear families intact, regardless of size or gender. Located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, we reach people who do not know where they will sleep next, who are doubled up, moving from house to house, or who have a pending eviction.
During the mid – 1990’s advocates established an initiative to address the growing population of homeless women and children in Milwaukee. CCI began as an overflow shelter in 1996 to provide shelter for women and children and the complex challenges they face. First operating in common areas of local churches, CCI’s emergency shelter program was a partnership between The American Red Cross, Interfaith Conference, Columbia St. Mary’s – St. Ben’s Clinic, Milwaukee County, and Catholic Charities.
In 2002, CCI became an independent 501(c)(3), and all operations moved under one roof in 2003. Today, CCI stands as a shining example of how dedication and partnership can make a positive impact on our community. As we’ve moved into our second decade of service, CCI leadership remains committed to anticipating and meeting the ever changing (and growing) needs of our clients as they work toward an independent life.
Emergency Shelter – The Cathedral Center offers shelter for 32 individual women and 8 families each night. Our overflow shelter serves additional women during winter and summer months. Shelter guests receive breakfast, lunch, and an evening meal or hearty snack prepared
and served by hundreds of volunteers who provide hospitality services each night. We also offer educational and group activities that enable our guests to address life skill areas and build upon skills needed to live independently.
Case Management – All women and families who reside in the Cathedral Center’s emergency shelter receive supportive services as they work to resolve their housing, personal, and employment issues. CCI Case Managers work with guests to establish an Independent Plan for Independence focused on goals related to increasing income, securing housing, and personal skill development. They participate in an assessment of physical and mental health, job training needs, and educational, legal or other assistance, and are referred to the appropriate service providers through a broad network of agency partners.
Case management services are also provided for women and families in the community who are facing a housing crisis, but are temporarily stable and safe. CCI Case Managers help them access existing community resources to prevent the need for a shelter stay, or at the very least, reduce the length of time needed to reside in shelter. Through this program, women and families can access supportive services as soon as a housing crisis is identified, rather than waiting to be “outside” and unsafe.
The Cathedral Center serves clients in the metro Milwaukee area who live at or below the poverty level. Our clients are burdened with generational poverty, suffer from mental illness, addiction and other health issues, and are either unemployed or can be described as working poor. The majority of our clients are individual women and single mothers, though more single fathers and traditional families have found their way to our doors in recent years. While all of our clients have a unique story and circumstance, the common thread that binds them all is that they have lost a healthy network of support — or they never had one at all.
In 2014 The Cathedral Center provided shelter and supportive services to 453 single women and 69 families (157 children) which translates to over 19,000 shelter nights (heads on beds). In addition, 85 Milwaukee families ( 200children) and 23 single women received community case management services; most avoided shelter altogether.
The Cathedral Center
845 N. Van Buren Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 831-0394
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July 11 - 14, 2019
North America's largest outdoor French-themed festival in the heart of Milwaukee.