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

Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Services convened its newest Better Ways to Cope grantees, all of whom will tackle opioid misuse in their communities. Community Advocates Public Policy Institute is grateful to receive our second round of Better Ways to Cope prevention funding to expand the Escucha Tus Emociones initiative.

MIAD student support staff decided to get creative this semester with their SPARK grant funding, which helps college campuses pass tobacco-free policies and educate campus communities that commercial tobacco in all its forms is a threat.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Milwaukee County-based organizations are inviting community members to the Discover Wellness Walk, a family-friendly event that will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, May 18, in Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St., Milwaukee.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Community Advocates and RISE Drug Free MKE invite community members for a walk in the park and to interact with seven stations with mental wellness activities and free resources from partnering organizations.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley announced $800,000 in ARPA funding for six community organizations that support kids and parents and those who work with them. Community Advocates Public Policy Institute issued the competitive RFP earlier this year and convened an independent review panel to select the awardees.

In Wisconsin, we recognize April as Family Strengthening Month as a reminder to prioritize our relationships with loved ones and invest in their well-being.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute invites proposals from not-for-profit organizations or government entities servicing Milwaukee County to provide programming and services directed toward early childhood. Funding is made available through the Milwaukee County DHHS Children Youth & Family Services (CYFS).

For a limited time, Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line is offering four times the amount of smoking cessation medication they normally provide for free. Learn more by reading this blog post and visiting

At Community Advocates PPI's 15th anniversary, New York Times best selling author Ben Westhoff led an evening of empathy and education and raised awareness of harm reduction efforts across the United States.

On February 7, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously voted to enact a six-month moratorium on new vape shops opening as the city explores long-term solutions to address the issue. The moratorium is a big win in protecting the youth of our city from overexposure to harmful products.

February is Black History Month, when we raise awareness of and appreciate the myriad accomplishments and experiences of African Americans. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance.”

On October 13, the Milwaukee Teen Pregnancy Prevention Network (MTPPN) hosted its much-loved 14th annual Family Unity Night (FUN), a gathering for parents, caregivers, and kids to recognize the importance of sitting down for a shared family meal and enjoying each other’s company during “Let’s Talk Month.”

During June, National Safety Month, community partners are coming together to help prevent accidental poisoning and medication misuse. On Tuesday, June 21, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention coalition (MCSAP) launched the Keep Your Meds Safe initiative at Hayat Pharmacy, 807. W. Layton Ave., Milwaukee.

Community Advocates' Reality Check event highlighted potentially hidden items that may indicate a youth is engaging in forms of risky behavior involving substance use, while also guiding parents of youth through Small Talks tips.

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Emilie Amundson visited Community Advocates to help launch the Stronger Families Milwaukee program, a new five-year prevention initiative developed by DCF to reduce child maltreatment and keep more families together in safe, stable, and nurturing homes.

Light & Unite Red Week (March 26 - April 1) returned with the most events and agencies involved in promoting health and wellness throughout Milwaukee County.

Community Advocates, Neu-Life Community Development, and The Parenting Network are launching the Strengthening Families Program in Milwaukee County thanks to a five-year grant from the Department of Children and Families.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute sent a portion of our Prevention Team to the CADCA’s 32nd Annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, MD, to learn about best practices and emerging issues in the field of substance use and misuse prevention.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) helps out parents (and some grandparents and aunts and uncles and other primary caregivers). The CTC for 2021 was bigger and better. Most parents already received monthly CTC payments last year, but they need to file a 2021 tax return to get the full amount due. Here's what you need to know.

During this time of stress and strain, the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health is making social connectedness the “one thing” that we can do to best improve children’s well-being.

Community Advocates is happy to announce that our Public Policy Institute will be expanding their mental health and wellness workshops thanks to a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute is happy to announce the release of our Mental Health and Resource Guide for Milwaukee County.

Community Advocates is proud to announce that Jan Buchler was awarded the Association of Child and Youth Care Practitioners (ACYCP) Lifetime Achievement Award to celebrate Jan's extraordinary commitment over decades to support children and families while leading countless organizations including The Parenting Network, Community Advocates, and the Nonprofit Center in Milwaukee.

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.