Editor’s note: This list has been updated to include additional places offering assistance to those in need.
COVID-19 has found many people struggling to find the basic and essential items they need to live. These struggles existed before quarantine and are likely to continue after, as the economy readjusts to the new normal.
Here are some resources to help. Some places also are also looking for donations or volunteers.
Did we miss a place offering assistance? Please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Basic Needs’ in the subject line.
1. IMPACT 2-1-1
IMPACT 2-1-1 is one of the best ways to find resources. The nonprofit organization can be reached by calling 2-1-1 or texting their ZIP code to TXT-211. IMPACT connects people with resources and services pertaining to food, housing and shelter, mental health, drug and alcohol treatment programs and more.
As a nonprofit, IMPACT 2-1-1 also relies on donations. People can donate to the critical condition fund, give a gift of support or volunteer.
2. United Way
United Way works with IMPACT 2-1-1 to connect people with resources. The organization has a COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund, which accepts donations. United Way recently launched its #MaskUp MKE Challenge, which encourages volunteers to help make 3.5 million masks for health care providers and other essential workers. Volunteers pick up the kits at the Fiserv Forum and have four days to return the assembled masks.
3. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County is doing what it can to help support Milwaukeeans in need. While its thrift store locations remain closed until Tuesday, May 26, its other services continue. Sites that offer emergency assistance such as food pantries will remain open. For additional information on food pantries and their hours of operation, click here.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations. Donors can make a contribution online by texting “MKE” to 24365 or mailing a check with the memo line “CV19 Help MKE” to The Salvation Army, 11315 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, WI 53226.
4. Metcalfe Park Community Bridges
Metcalfe Park Community Bridges has been creating care packages filled with essential items for its residents. Packages include canned goods, cleaning supplies, feminine products, toilet paper, socks and more. To receive a community care package, families can fill out the form.
To help support the care packages, individuals can make a monetary donation through PayPal or by sending a check to Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, 3624 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53208 or donate items for the care package.
5. Ayuda Mutua MKE
Ayuda Mutua MKE, 1115 S. 7th St., is helping undocumented families weather the COVID-19 storm. The group is providing assistance through fundraising and care packages. To receive a package, families can fill out this form.
To help, individuals should consider making a donation to its fundraiser or by donating supplies. Currently, Ayuda Mutua MKE needs canned food and hygiene supplies, including toilet paper, sanitary napkins and tampons, cleaning supplies, diapers, baby wipe and reusable bags.
6. Capuchin Community Services
Capuchin Community Services continues to serve the homeless community during this time. While some of its services have been temporarily suspended, meals are continuing to be served. Hot meals are packaged and delivered to residents at two Heartland Housing locations, including St. Anthony Place and a shelter.
To make a monetary donation, individuals can go online or send a check to Capuchin Community Services, P.O. Box 05830, Milwaukee, WI 53205-0830.
7. United Methodist Children’s Services
The United Methodist Children’s Services is finding ways to serve the community. Its food pantry remains open for residents in the Washington Park area. In addition to food, residents can receive hygiene products such as toilet paper, hand soap, sanitizer and toothpaste.
The United Methodist Children’s Services needs monetary and in-kind donations. To make a cash donation, go online or mail a check to 3940 W. Lisbon Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53208. Food donations and hygiene products are also being accepted. To coordinate a delivery, email Tara Monnink at email@example.com.
8. MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary
MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary, 2461 W. Center St., is dedicated to serving Milwaukee’s homeless population. During the quarantine, the organization has distributed masks, information, water and food and other essential items. The sanctuary is open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
To support the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary individuals can make an online donation. Donors can choose to support the operations, the building fund or purchase items through Amazon Smile. Individuals can also respond to the sanctuary’s urgent appeal list and drop off items from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Items needed include canned beef and chicken, Spam, Glory greens, Bush’s Baked Beans, canned yams, chicken noodle soup, hand sanitizer, bag lunches, sandwiches and toilet paper. For the full list, visit the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary Facebook page. People can also order supplies and have them shipped to MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary c/o 13320 W. North Lane, New Berlin, WI 53151.