Why Key to Change?

While many people are truly in need, giving spare change to a panhandler is only a short-term solution to a deeper problem. Your kindness may only reinforce negative behavior when more meaningful assistance is needed and available.

Key to Change directs funds to programs that have a lasting impact. Donations are used to further the mission of Milwaukee County Housing Division’s Housing First project – an initiative that recognizes housing as the first step toward stabilization. Stable living conditions are then complemented by wraparound services, which range from rehabilitation and counseling to job training and placement. To date, 225+ chronically homeless individuals in Milwaukee have been placed.

Replicated in other cities, data for Housing First programs overwhelmingly shows that this model dramatically reduces public service costs, as well as improves the quality of life for the consumer and the surrounding community.

Key to Change Milwaukee Wisconsin

What is the definition of chronically homeless?

Key to Change was created to provide impactful, effective care for Milwaukee’s chronically homeless. As described by the Department of Housing & Urban Development, a chronically homeless family or individual is a person who has been continuously homeless for one year or more, or who has experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years and has a disabling condition.



A Success Story

Success Story - Robert and Jeff

Jeff and Robert have gone from homelessness to empowerment. They are in their own apartments and working toward success thanks to Housing First. They serve on a Resident Advisory Council to improve services for the newly housed. Moreover, they strive to give back. They work with community and charity organizations, and encourage other residents to do the same through the new Housing First Service Corps, which provides monthly volunteer opportunities for Housing First residents.

Total Municipal Court Violations Each Year Among Housing First Residents
Total People Experiencing Homelessness in Milwaukee County - Point-In-Time Count