New text service helps you instantly find help from Milwaukee organizations

Text ‘Milwaukee’ to 73224
Posted at 6:01 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 07:29:27-04

SHERMAN PARK — There’s a new text line that launched during this pandemic to ensure that every person in the City of Milwaukee is being heard, and getting the help they need.

It was created by community leaders and journalists who want to make sure we are all doing what’s right during this health crisis.

Sherman Park resident Jeff Roman is a community leader who is one of many who helped make the idea come to life.

He wants to help underserved and underrepresented areas of our community, “There's a gap in information. There's a gap in access to information for the African-American community. For the Latino community. For the low-income poverty-stricken community.”

Roman collaborated with Wisconsin Watch and Neighborhood News Service, explaining, “We want to amplify the voices of the community make sure their needs wants desires are shared.”

That’s where News414 was born. People living in 18 Milwaukee neighborhoods can send a text. They will receive a list of prompts to get them help. Topics include food security, housing, health, and jobs.

For someone looking for help with the eviction process, News414 can connect people with organizations like Community Advocates, to not only apply for housing assistance but make direct referrals to mediation or legal help.

Deb Heffner with Community Advocates shares that people started receiving notices the day after Safer at Home was originally scheduled to expire on May 26.

The goal is to build community connections and access to resources that include journalists.

Roman adds, “Everybody wants news. Everybody needs news. Everybody has news to share, and we think this is one of many ways to have that happen in Milwaukee.”

Here’s your Rebound Rundown:
— News-414 serves 18 Milwaukee Neighborhoods
— For help, text ‘Milwaukee’ to 73224
— There, you will be prompted to pick from a list of topics, including talking to a community journalist.

Community Advocates created a rent helpline to triage calls that need rent assistance, help with mediation or even legal help. The number is (414) 270-4646.

We understand this pandemic has also created a dilemma for property owners. Community Advocates has always provided resources for landlords. There is an entire list of advice they created to help work with their tenants during the COVID-19 crisis:

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