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Help for the homeless in Waukesha County

Posted: 10:54 PM, Sep 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-08 23:56:29-04

WAUKESHA COUNTY — Local groups are working to end homelessness in Waukesha County, an area many people might not realize it's even a problem. Genessa Ynocencio said she's proof.

"I stopped paying my bills, I stopped doing everything productive, my survival had gone down. I just didn't care," said Genessa Ynocencio.

The Waukesha mom said she lost her home after she had her 8th baby. She said postpartum depression triggered the spiral.

"I was really disappointed in myself. I was 38 years old and never had an eviction and I let my family fall," said Ynocencio.

She spent some time with family and a few weeks in a hotel before her money ran out. A homeless shelter took Genessa in, along with her six-week-old baby and other small children.

"We're all human beings. We all need help once in a while and that's ok," said Ynocencio.

Krystina Kohler with United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County said the non-profit is trying to make it easier for homeless folks in Waukesha County to get help.

"Something new we're doing this year is bringing Project Homeless Connect to Waukesha County," said Krystina Kohler.

They'll have more than 40 resources in one place for the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless.

"Homelessness exists in every county and I think that people might not realize that homelessness doesn't always look the way you think it will look," said Kohler.

Kohler said homelessness tends to be more hidden in places like this than in bigger cities.

"In Waukesha County any given night there are about 200 people experiencing homelessness and about 20 families that are in an emergency shelter or transitional housing," said Kohler.

Genessa said it's resources in her community that helped her get her life back.

"Take the help, ask for the help, don't be embarrassed, don't be afraid," said Ynocencio.

Project Homeless Connect is for the homeless in Waukesha County and those living paycheck to paycheck in need of some extra help. You're invited to attend the event Monday at Carroll University Campus Center (101 N. East Avenue). The event is going on my 10am-3pm, but you must arrive by 2pm to receive services. Free Shuttles leave from the following locations throughout the day: Food Pantry of Waukesha (1301 Sentry Drive), Family Promise of Waukesha (543 Allen Circle), Hope Center (502 N. East Avenue) and Salvation Army (445 Madison Street). Lunch will be provided and there is no registration required. For questions call 414-263-8181 or e-mail kkohler@unitedwaygmwc.org

If you're interested in helping the homeless visit UnitedWayGMWC.org