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Want to keep up with the Public Policy Institute? Check this page for events, commentary, and announcements.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced a public safety alert stating that there is an increase of lethal counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Each year, September is devoted to learning more about how to prevent suicide and making note of the impact suicide has on our relationships and our community. This year, Suicide Prevention Month takes on more weight as we cope with an extended pandemic and social isolation.

This brief from the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality explores the lessons of the New Hope Project and its updated social contract with working families.

The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MCSAP) is inviting all community members to a memorial event to mark International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. The event will remember those lost to overdose, support individuals and families coping with substance abuse and grief, and explore how to prevent overdose from claiming another life.

Africa Lucas is the new Prevention Manager at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, and for her, it’s more than a job. It’s taking all of her personal and professional experience coupled with strategic implementation to bring about innovative change in our community.  

In a worst-case scenario, if eviction filings were started against all 27,078 Milwaukee County renters who are estimated to be behind in their rent, it would nearly double the number of filings in all of 2019.

There’s always much to learn from experts and peers in the prevention field, especially when our lives have changed so dramatically in the past year and new substance use trends have emerged. In mid-July, some of Community Advocates Public Policy Institute’s prevention coalition coordinators attended the virtual version of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) Mid-Year Training Institute.

In March 2021, the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute’s Healthy Housing Initiative (HHI) team finalized the report “Nonprofit Organizations across Select U.S. Metropolitan Areas Operating as Rental Housing Resource Centers,” which aimed to capture administrative models, promising practices, and innovation for consideration in the continuing development of Milwaukee’s Rental Housing Resource Center.

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, dedicated to bringing attention to the unique mental health issues that ethnic minority communities experience due to the racial trauma and inequity these specific communities face in the US.

Pride Month recognizes the major impact LGBTQ+ individuals have all over the world and strives to make communities, schools, work, and other parts of society a better place for this generation and the next one.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Milwaukee's Juneteenth Day celebration, a day that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and a day that connects African Americans across the country.

As we discussed in our June 2 community conversation with Senator Tammy Baldwin, the American Rescue Plan includes an important (but temporary) expansion of the Child Tax Credit. The rollout of the expanded Child Tax Credit will happen in July 2021. While we are still gathering details on how this will happen, who is eligible, and what recipients should expect, please note that we will be updating this website with information as we receive it.

2020 brought new challenges to all of us, but our young people were affected in unique ways. Students had to make sense of a global pandemic and social unrest while also keeping up with their school work, typically at home, online, without the benefit of a teacher in a classroom and peers to help them manage it all.

On four Mondays in March and April, more than 60 poverty, revenue, and benefits experts came together virtually to discuss how the periodic payment of tax credits could help working families make ends meet, especially during an economic downturn. The convening was organized by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the Economic Security Project, and generously supported by the Joyce Foundation.

On April 10, more than 50 youth and adults shared their wisdom about youth mental health by participating in the annual MCSAP Youth Summit, held this year on Zoom. The summit was streamed from NeuLife Media Studio, co-hosted by Neu-Life Community Development and Milwaukee Christian Center, and included partners Brewers Alumni Association, the Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Safe & Sound, and TeamTeal365.

As we have seen throughout the pandemic, moratoriums are effective in preventing evictions, and even more effective when paired with rent assistance. The combination of a moratorium and rent assistance creates a win-win situation for tenants to stay safely housed and landlords to get rental income.

Join MCSAP March 22-28 for Light & Unite Red Week in Milwaukee County to promote healthy, drug- and alcohol-free living and support our community members who are improving their lives by remaining free of substance use and achieving holistic wellness.

This month, we are highlighting Black mental health and wellness professionals to shed light on Black history and current issues facing the Black community. In this blog, we will hear from Dr. Lakeia Jones, the founder of AMRI Counseling Services in Milwaukee and Kenosha and author of U R It.

This month, we are highlighting Black mental health and wellness professionals to shed light on Black history and current issues facing the Black community. In this blog, we’ll hear from Serita Valmond, Chronic Pain Coach, CHC, CLC, who turned her personal experience with chronic pain—what she calls her “unfortunate/fortunate journey”—into a career helping others face and transform their pain.

Black history plays an important part in shaping the growth of Milwaukee and in highlighting the artistic and creative measures of our communities and our youth. This month, many organizations will provide opportunities to share the importance and power that Black history has on this city. Here is a list of virtual events and resources in honor of Black History Month.

Community Advocates has joined diverse community stakeholders to ask Wisconsin's Congressional delegation to secure bipartisan legislation that provides critical additional assistance to communities throughout our state, including local and tribal governments, businesses, non-profits, and first responders to address the ongoing public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MCSAP and Safe & Sound's Virtual Holiday Resource Fair will feature reps from great Milwaukee organizations to help you end 2020 on a positive note.

Meet Susie Seidelman, who created a highly successful strategic communications plan for Take Back My Meds Milwaukee, is stepping up as coalition director.

Congratulations go out to Anneke Mohr, who coordinates the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance and helped to launch Hold On To Your Butt MKE, two initiatives devoted to improving health and the environment by preventing and reducing harm from tobacco use. Anneke received the Wisconsin Public Health Association’s Spirit of Public Health Award.

To honor World Mental Health Day, Light & Unite RED Week, and Substance Abuse Prevention Month, a range of Milwaukee youth-serving organizations, advocates, and coalitions joined together on October 10 to present two virtual youth summits to engage and uplift our community’s young people.

Presentation slides from September 17 virtual Assembly District 8 candidate forum.

Tobacco, COVID-19, and substance abuse were the topics of a recent online forum hosted by the Hispanic Tobacco Prevention Network (HTPN) and the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance with public health experts and candidates for Wisconsin Assembly District 8.

The Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention coalition (MCSAP) is happy to announce new members and initiatives, just in time for Substance Abuse Prevention Month in October.

While Community Advocates provides critical and responsive services, its Public Policy Institute (PPI) has been tracking and disseminating vital information on the city, state, and federal government response and process to navigating COVID-19 and implications on tenants and landlords.

Created to provide a safe and healthy discussion with youth about substance abuse facts, myths, and opinions prompted by the "My New Friends" public service announcement.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in partnership with Connected Health Solutions, ArtWorks for Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MCSAP) are releasing the video “My New Friends,” produced with young people in the city of Milwaukee to raise awareness of drug misuse.

“The new moratorium will help our clients avoid homelessness, but it’s important for renters to know that they must continue paying rent and that rent assistance is available,” Andi Elliott, CEO of Community Advocates, said. “Applying for that assistance is required to avoid being evicted for non-payment of rent, and help is only a click or a call away.”

A traumatic event such last week’s violence and civil unrest in Kenosha often brings out strong emotions that need attention. We’ve collected some resources for coping with the aftermath of community trauma and stress, and understanding the special needs of children during traumatic events.

September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. This year’s monthly observance is different than the ones that have come before. This year, we are facing a global pandemic and civil unrest in response to racist police brutality and practices.

Before the YWCA Unlearning Racism course, I thought I knew everything about racism, biases, and how race impacts how one moves throughout the world.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute believes Congress must act quickly to address Earned Income Payment flaws, completing the work of the CARES Act and laying a strong foundation for additional stimulus payments.

We joined with partnering organizations to write to Wisconsin's Congressional delegation about need to pass another relief package that addresses effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated health and economic crises on struggling Wisconsinites.

Coping with the stress and strains of life during a pandemic while also dealing with social unrest brought on by racist police brutality are contributing to more substance abuse, according to public health experts. It doesn’t help that a powerful synthetic opioid is showing up in Wisconsin, too.

There were about 300 more evictions in Milwaukee County during the month of June 2020 (1,473) than there were in June 2019 (1,166), which is a significant 20.8% increase. Both across the state and in Milwaukee, there has also been a significant increase in evictions compared to the months before the pandemic.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute signed on to support the Pandemic TANF Assistance Act, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in the US Senate. This proposed bill combines two things that we need NOW: Access to emergency assistance grants for low income people hurt by the current economic crisis, and subsidized employment for individuals who can't find work as it becomes safe to return to work. We hope that Congress will include it in its next COVID-19 package.

The Wisconsin Public Health Association has announced Anneke Mohr will receive its Spirit of Public Health Award, which recognizes “the contributions of an individual who is part of the fabric of public health in his/her community and whose goal is to be ‘of use.’”

“Senator Baldwin has crafted two bills that would provide immediate relief to employers and out-of-work individuals impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, while also setting the foundation for a long-term solution to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in employment and generational poverty,” said Julie Kerksick, Senior Policy Advocate at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

Two issues that are top of mind right now -- the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement -- shed light on how racism is a public health issue since both the coronavirus and police brutality disproportionately affect the health and safety of communities of color.

We’re living through remarkable times and current events are affecting each of us in different ways. Our Prevention Team has collected resources, songs, videos, and quotes to help our community members deepen their understanding of race in America, being a white ally, and “soothing the soul.”

Community Advocates’ core values of dignity and respect for all we serve guides us in our work each day. We are incensed by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dontre Hamilton, Sylville Smith, Tony McDade, Joel Acevedo and countless other men and women whose lives have been stolen, many at the hands of law enforcement.

With the statewide ban on evictions ending on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Community Advocates is experiencing a surge of calls from households still experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 who are worried or confused about what is next and how to get help. Here are some things landlords and tenants need to know.

Tips for maintaining stable rental housing during COVID-19.

Members of the Healthy Housing Initiative and rental housing stakeholders presented this webinar on what tenants, landlords, and decision-makers can expect during the time of coronavirus.

Like every other organization, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute has been challenged to adapt to the unique demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our response has been to provide our regular services on the phone or via email, and to use video calls and webinars to stay connected, instead of in-person meetings. We’re also impressed by how many Milwaukee-based youth-serving agencies are staying connected to the young people and families who access their services.