Social Services Division

UMOS SOCIAL SERVICES DIVISION…PEOPLE-FOCUSED

 

Children playing at class

 
UMOS Social Services Programs are holistic, wrap-around services that compliment our two other divisions. UMOS staff provide services with true purpose to allow clients and customers to feel safe and secure, healthy and housed, warm and welcomed. We provide food for those in need, as well as an after school, “out of the box,” learning environment.

LATINA RESOURCE CENTER: PROVIDING RESOURCES TO REBUILD

 

The UMOS Latina Resource Center has grown in scope, staff, depth and will soon have a new home. The Center and staff will move to 2701 South Chase Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the UMOS corporate headquarters, job center, TechHire program and Health Promotions.

 

UMOS Wisconsin Regional Anti-Trafficking Program Staff’s overview and explanations of the intersections of labor and sex trafficking allowed webinar participants to see how closely the two are connected.

A Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care Webinar Participant

The UMOS Latina Resource Center provides comprehensive, holistic supportive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. The Center serves all genders, races, ethnicities, and age groups.
 
The Center’s goals are to increase the safety of individuals, enhance their emotional wellness and provide resources that rebuild and empower individuals and families for a violence free life.
 

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAM AND SERVICES HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED:

  • 251 victims of sexually assault received advocacy and/or supportive services.
  • 536 victims of domestic violence received advocacy and/or supportive services.
  • Received 250 crisis calls
  • 100 children were provided with resources and services through Mi Arco Iris Children Who Witness Domestic Violence
  • 200 survivors completed the Adult & Children Together parenting program.
  • 200 middle school youth completed Safe Dates: Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program.
  • Reached over 2,000 individuals through domestic violence, dating violence & sexual assault outreach activities and community presentations.
 
To call the domestic violence 24 hour help line dial 414-389-6510.

Wisconsin Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Project

Wisconsin Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Project

HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROGRAM AND SERVICES HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED:

  • 631 professionals, including law enforcement, social workers, medical providers and youth workers in 15 Wisconsin cities trained on human trafficking.
  • 1,185 people reached through outreach activities.
  • 2,090 people participated through Look Beneath the Surface Anti-Human Trafficking public awareness campaign.
  • 61 potential victims of labor and/ or sex trafficking screened.
  • 27 victims of human trafficking identified and provided with resources by the Wisconsin Regional Anti-Trafficking Program (WRAP).

 

Look Beneath The Surface logo

The UMOS Latina Resource Center Crisis Line-Available 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week (414) 389-6510, or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1-888-373-7888.

 

What is Human Trafficking?

Sex trafficking — a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or

Labor trafficking — the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

 

Sex trafficking indicators

• Has few or no personal possessions
• Have injuries and other signs of physical abuse and trauma
• Under 18-and providing commercial sex​
• Claim to be “just visiting” an area but are unable to articulate where they are staying or to remember addresses
• New unexplained tattoos
• Is in possession of hotel/motel items
• Significantly older boyfriend

 

Labor trafficking indicators

• Works excessively long hours for little or no compensation
• Does not have any days off
• Is often monitored or timed during breaks
• Does not have consistent access to food, water and other basic necessities
• Is not paid, paid consistently, or promised a future payment
• Is physically assaulted or verbally and emotionally abused by controller, trafficker, or recruiter

 

Our Program Pillars

 

Training

UMOS’ training efforts ensure that critical information around human trafficking is delivered to those responsive to victims and to those who can assist in identification and referral.

Technical Assistance

UMOS provides technical assistance to professionals and community members who may need information and expertise on a potential trafficking situation via phone, email or in person.

Outreach

UMOS engages in diverse and robust outreach around the state in order to identity victims of both sex and labor trafficking.

Public Awareness

UMOS’ Wisconsin Regional Anti-Trafficking Program regularly engages community members and provides trafficking material at a variety of events, fairs, festivals, etc.

 

Our Regions

 

HARM REDUCTION PROGRAMS: EXCHANGING HARMING BEHAVIOR FOR HEALTHY BEHAVIOR

UMOS Harm Reduction Programs, include HIV testing, STI testing, condom distribution and needle exchange services. The mission of the UMOS Harm Reduction Program is to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and enhance the wellbeing of those affected by addressing the underlying factors that fuel a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among communities of color.
 
UMOS staff provided HIV outreach and information to more than 5,000 individuals. UMOS staff also distributed over 21,700 condoms to residents living in Milwaukee County as part of the prevention and intervention of HIV efforts.
 
The HIV Prevention Program offers free rapid, individualized, and confidential HIV testing that only takes 20 minutes to complete. UMOS HIV Program Staff tested over 255 community members, a 25% increase over the previous time period, utilizing new Rapid HIV testing technology that detects HIV in just 14 days. UMOS also provided testing/screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea. This testing is provided to increase the number of people who know their HIV status, and to encourage and provide support for high-risk clients to adopt new behaviors that reduce their risk of HIV/STD infection and/or transmission, as well as ensure linkage to appropriate medical care and partner services.

 

 

We exchange unhealthy behaviors for healthy lifestyles.

Maria Serrano

Harm Reduction Specialist, UMOS

NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM

 
According to published research and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who inject drugs that utilize needle exchange programs are 5 times more likely to entern drug treatment and communities are more likely to see reductions in opioid overdose deaths
 
 

 

If it weren’t for UMOS, I wouldn’t be receiving the treatment I so desperately needed. Thank you, UMOS, for saving my life.

20-year-old woman who entered a drug treatment program for opioid dependency

UMOS was successful in securing funding for a new grant initiative: UMOS SAFE Exchange Program (USEP). This CDC evidence-based intervention provides direct services that limit the spread of infectious disease via contaminated needles.
 
UMOS staff provided people who inject drugs with educational information and assistance into treatment services at the time needles were exchanged.
 

NEEDLE EXCHANGE ACTIVITIES INCLUDED

  • Referred 6 clients into detox/AODA Treatment
  • Provided 17 educational sessions
  • Provided 25 Sharps safety containers to clients and community members.
  • Provided 101 needle exchanges occurrences with clients
  • Distributed 2,901 new needles and collected 1,810 used needles (62.4% return rate)
  • Collected over 1,500 used syringes through our pick-up services for used syringes/needles.

 

UMOS STAFF PARTICIPATED IN OUTREACH EVENTS THAT INCLUDED

  • Get Yourself Tested Event
  • Gerald Ignace Health Fair
  • PRIDEFEST Milwaukee
  • National HIV testing day
  • Puerto Rican Festival
  • Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative Annual Summit
  • HVAC Neighborhood clean-up
 
UMOS staff was also successful in securing a new grant specially to purchase supplies for the harm reduction programs. UMOS received $13,700 from Ryan White funding through the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
 

PROMOTING HEALTHIER BREATHING ENVIRONMENTS

 
The UMOS Tobacco Prevention Initiative continues to promote a healthier Wisconsin where all can breathe cleaner air indoors, including residential housing areas and in the workplace, as well as in shared outdoor spaces.
 
UMOS is the lead agency for the Wisconsin Hispanic/Latino Tobacco Prevention Network (WHLTPN).
 
UMOS staff works with the Hispanic and other communities of color, and with local grass roots community leaders to provide education on the health risks associated with tobacco use.
 
Major Accomplishments included:
  • The signing of a ruling for smoke free federal Housing Urban Development (HUD) housing units. All low-income HUD housing will be smoke free, including the use of other tobacco devices such as E-Cigarettes and cigars.
  • Presentations by WHLTPN FACT youth members to the Employ Milwaukee Workforce Investment Board, to Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor and State Representative Jocasta Zamarripa regarding the effects of tobacco, how tobacco use and tobacco products are changing and how tobacco related issues affect the communities we serve. Over 125 members of the community also attended presentations.
  • Outreach and informational materials provided at health fairs and community events to over 2,500 adults and 1,200 youth.
  • Presentations specifically to over 250 women and men through other UMOS programs.
  • The recruitment of 35 teens into our FACT youth component.
 
Other program Highlights for the year included:
  • Collaboration and coordination with other tobacco programs around Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • WHLTPN FACT youth members participated in the National Kick Butt Day, providing awareness on the impact of tobacco within our neighborhoods.
  • WHLTPN was able to submit 10 to 20 news stories through the network volunteers and FACT youth members. Stories were published in major daily newspaper and several local community papers.
  • Acquired 5 new community partners and additional volunteers to promote smoke free outdoor spaces.
  • Collaboration with the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and the Social Security Administration.

 

We have an open-door team approach. Our doors are always open when it comes to supporting customers with internal and external resources.

Petrina Gray

Customer Support Supervisor, UMOS

SMOKE FREE FIESTA

Mexican Fiesta, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the largest Hispanic music festival in the Midwest, attracting over 85,000 individuals and families each year.
 
Mexican Fiesta has joined forces with UMOS by making some areas within the festival smoke free: some stages, children’s areas, and some walkways. Mexican Fiesta is setting an example by having family-friendly festival spaces that are free of secondhand smoke.
 

 

PROVIDING ASSISTANCE IN A WARM WAY

Home Energy Plus logo

 
 
 
 

 

 

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Public Benefits Energy Assistance Program are Administered by the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Winter temperatures in Wisconsin can get below zero. The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) helps individuals and families with heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations. The UMOS Milwaukee and Kenosha County programs provide warm assistance to households to help lower the burden incurred with monthly energy costs, especially during winter months. However, the assistance is not intended to cover all heating or electric costs. WHEAP heating and electric assistance is a one-time payment during the Wisconsin heating season.
 
 
 
UMOS assisted 6,268 households in applying for Energy Assistance in Kenosha County, 5,521 of those qualified for benefits. The financial benefits received by clients totaled $2,822,554.
 
 
 
UMOS assisted 24,458 households in applying for Energy Assistance in Milwaukee County, 22,351 of those qualified for benefits. The financial benefits received by Milwaukee clients totaled $14,078,580.
 

DHHS PRESS RELEASE – February 20, 2020:
(click on the link below to open the PDF news release in a new window)

Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Reminds Residents to Take Precautions During Cold Weather

 

 

Income Guidelines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Weatherization assistance and education on how to save energy resulted in an $800 annual electric usage savings for one client.

Molly Calderon

WHEAP Manager-Kenosha, UMOS

CRISIS ASSISTANCE

Crisis assistance is available to clients who are facing a disconnection of utility services. To receive crisis assistance, clients must commit to a payment arrangement with the utility provider, as well as meet state and county requirements for payment contributions.
 
UMOS in Kenosha County provided crisis assistance services to 1,416 households. The financial benefits received by clients totaled $363,570.
 
UMOS in Milwaukee County provided crisis assistance services to 3,084 households. The financial benefits received by clients totaled $948,678.
 

HEATING SYSTEM ASSISTANCE

WHEAP heating system assistance provides services to eligible homeowners if the furnace or boiler stops operating. Heating system assistance includes payment for repairs, or in some situations, the residence may qualify for a total replacement of a non-operating furnace or boiler.
 
UMOS in Kenosha County assisted with 99 heating unit repairs and 109 replacements. UMOS also assisted with 11 assessments for heating units.
 
From October 2018-September 2019, Milwaukee County Assistance Program 63,416 household applied for Energy assistance, 54,118 households received heating assistance and 55,869 received electric assistance. 9,179 households received crisis assistance and 824 heating units were repair and or replaced.
 
The UMOS Kenosha County and Milwaukee County office continued to provide a co-payment agreement option for clients, while working directly with WE Energies to make the payment plan more affordable for low income clients. The clients selected for the copay option were having trouble paying their current usage, usually had very high balances and had fallen off several previous payment arrangements. While on the copay option, clients make an agreed upon payment every month, then UMOS releases payment toward their account. After every third month, the utility company will forgive a fourth of the client’s balance. At the end of the 12 months, the client will have a zero balance with the utility. The copay option helps clients regain credibility with their utility.
 

UMOS is providing Energy Assistance in Milwaukee and Kenosha County. For more information please go to:
www.ca-apps.org/MilwaukeeHeat

Home Energy Plus logo

 

 

 

For additional information on how to apply for Home Energy Assistance, click on either of the two links below, and a new window will open with a PDF version of the flyer:
https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/DHHS/EnergyAssistance/MKEAPPLYSHEETNOBLEED.pdf

For Spanish, click here: https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/DHHS/EnergyAssistance/MKEAPPLYSHEETSPANISHNOBLEED.pdf


To call for an appointment in Milwaukee: 414-27-4-MKE (414-270-4653)
Office location: 2701 South Chase Avenue (UMOS Center)
Office Hours: (Extended through July 1st – August 31, 2020)

Monday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 p.m.

 

To call for an appointment on the South Side of Milwaukee: 414-27-4-MKE (414-270-4653)
Office location: 5663 S. 27th St.
Office Hours: (Extended through July 1st – August 31, 2020)

Monday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 p.m.

 

To call for an appointment in West Allis: 414-27-4-MKE (414-270-4653)
Office location: 6761 W. Greenfield Avenue
Office Hours: (Extended through July 1st – August 31, 2020)

Monday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 p.m.

 

To call for an appointment in Kenosha County: 262-657-2170
Office location: 1330 52nd Street (Inside the Boys & Girls Club building)
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

UMOS MIDWEST HOUSING CONSORTIUM

Housing

UMOS facilitates a nine-state Midwest Housing Consortium and administers National Farmworker Housing Program (NFJP) funds to NFJP programs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
 
The UMOS Housing Department also operates Temporary Housing Rental Units, Housing Assistance, Permanent Housing, Homeownership Education, Technical Assistance, and Development or Preservation of Farm Labor Housing units.
 

TEMPORARY/PERMANENT HOUSING – RENTAL UNITS

UMOS owns and operates 81 multifamily units of affordable rental housing for agricultural workers and their families in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
 
Last year, UMOS provided rental housing to 12 individuals and 24 families. UMOS provided year-round housing for 23 individuals and 53 families facilities.
 

HOUSING ASSISTANCE

UMOS provides emergency funds to help clients obtain short-term shelter, pay a month’s rent, and connect them to social services that are needed. UMOS provides education on Fair Housing, and a renter’s and landlord’s rights and responsibilities through our Rent Smart seminars. This year, 969 families and individuals attended our Rent Smart presentations.
 

PERMANENT HOUSING – HOMEOWNERSHIP EDUCATION

Our Preparation for Homeownership seminars give an informed overview of the steps needed to move toward homeownership. This year 193 families and individuals attended our Preparation for Homeownership presentations.
 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

UMOS provides consultation to nonprofit, affordable housing developers. We also provide pass-through funds to encourage the development of new, or the preservation of existing units of farmworker housing in the 9-State Consortium.
 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Hunger Task Force dropping food off at the UMOS Food Pantry

It’s hard to think about anything else if you’re hungry. Children can’t focus on learning in school if they are thinking about their hunger. Parents are worried if they can’t feed their families.
 
UMOS continues to assist individuals and families with their food and nutrition needs, including fresh produce.
 
UMOS distributed over 416,000 pounds of food to 9,876 adults and children.
 
This food distribution is due to the generous contributions and donations from:
 
  • Feeding America
  • Food for the Hunger Inc.
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Meijer
  • Emergency Food & Shelter (EFSP) Program
  • Hunger Task Force
  • Germantown High School
  • Pepperidge Farm
  • Holy Assumption
  • Basilica of St. Joseph Catholic Church
  • Nicolet High School
  • ALDI
 

UMOS COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER: THE VIEW IS GREAT FROM VIEAU SCHOOL

UMOS and Vieau School are dedicated to improving the views of the entire community. As an after-school program, we see Vieau School as a community unto itself, which includes students, teachers, and parents.
 

WATER AND WATERFALLS

UMOS and Vieau School served 84 students. Our academic focus was based on rivers, waterfalls, and bodies of water. Students learned about the ecosystems that surround bodies of water.
At the end of the 6-week program, we hosted an exhibition with 120 visitors attending and watching students perform dances inspired by water, such as “Under the Sea”.
 
Students and staff created the stage and costumes. It was one our most successful summer programs to date!
 

PARENTS LEADING THE WAY

 
UMOS after-school staff focused on building relationships with day-school staff. We provided support for more than 34 day-staff members as we continued to focus on intentional classroom design. Every year we work on a different room in order to bring a more trauma sensitive and calming design. Together, we were able to create a spacious and calming classroom.
 
We also focused on community advocacy and improving parental involvement. We held regular parent meetings that taught parents about self-worth. Parents learned about the value of using their voice and their newly acquired leadership skills. We established our first after-school program parent committee, with 25 members. The parent committee raised funds to remodel the K4-K5 classrooms.
 
UMOS, in partnership with Vieau School, will diligently continue to work on building a foundation made of Latino parental leaders that will help build strong, self-sufficient, game-changing communities. ¡Si se puede!