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Keep the Change

If you want to help those asking for money on the street – Keep the Change.  Instead of encouraging panhandling, consider giving your money to a local non-profit that provides food, shelter and services for people in need.

When you Keep the Change, you can help that person make a real change in his or her life.


Additional ways you can help:

• Encourage panhandlers to call or text 211 Impact for resources

• Make a donation or volunteer at a local non-profit organization, shelter or food pantry

• Share this message with your friends and neighbors


Keep the Change!  A better way to give . . .

The City of Milwaukee is working with partner charities throughout Milwaukee to encourage people who are struggling to make use of available resources.  Make a positive change in the life of someone who is struggling by donating to one of the following organizations:


Logo for Cathedral Center

Cathedral Center, Inc.

The Cathedral Center, Inc. (CCI) serves women and families with children who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis. CCI provides an emergency shelter for individual women and families of all sizes, including single fathers/mothers with their children, in addition to offering comprehensive case management and workforce development services to women and families who are in shelter, facing a housing crisis or after leaving the shelter. 

Logo for Veterans

Center for Veterans Issues

The Center for Veterans Issues (CVI) serves men and women of the armed forces in need after returning to civilian life through transitional housing and a wide variety of programming.


Logo for Community Advocates

Community Advocates

Community Advocates has a comprehensive continuum of services to assist individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  Our continuum of services for individuals includes person-centered mental health outreach to individuals who are living on the streets or places not meant for human habitation, a 20-bed Safe Haven, low-barrier housing refuge for individuals who are homeless and experiencing severe and persistent mental health challenges and supportive housing and case management for 140 individuals who experienced chronic homelessness.  Our continuum of services for families includes emergency shelter for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse and women and children experiencing homelessness, housing placement and case management and supportive services.  Additionally, Community Advocates provides Homelessness Prevention services for individuals and families at-risk of becoming homeless.

Logo for The Guest House

Guest House of Milwaukee

Since 1982, the Guest House of Milwaukee has been a leader in providing shelter, housing, education, and services to Milwaukee’s homeless who seek to transform their lives with dignity and purpose.

Logo for Heartland Alliance

Heartland Alliance/Capuchin Apartments

In partnership with Milwaukee County, Heartland Alliance provides low-income housing for communities. Through the Capuchin Apartments, Heartland Alliance serves Chronically Homeless, historically those with heavy mental illness, chronic substance abuse, and/or HIV/AIDs.

Logo for Hope House

Hope House of Milwaukee, Inc.

It is the mission of Hope House to “end homelessness and create healthy communities.”  Hope House works to achieve this mission through three primary goals:

  • To reduce homelessness in families through Emergency Shelter and Rapid Rehousing;
  • To improve the educational levels of youth and adults; and
  • To enhance the health of community residents through reduced hunger and better access to medical care.

Logo for Meta House

Meta House

Meta House offers a transitional and permanent housing solution for women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and their children. Eligibility requirements for admission to this treatment setting include: being successful in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction; continuing with outpatient treatment services; being certified as homeless; and paying at least 30% of adjusted gross income as rent.

Logo for Mercy Housing

Mercy Housing Lakefront/St. Catherine Residence

St. Catherine Residence provides housing for up to 164 women in suite-style apartments, with shared baths and community kitchens. Women may rent short- or long-term and stay as long as they need.

Logo for Milwaukee County Housing

Milwaukee County Housing Division

The Milwaukee County Housing Division provides permanent housing with priority to those Chronically Homeless as well as families.  The County runs the Housing First Program, My Home Housing program, and other Permanent Supportive Housing.

Logo for Milwaukee Rescue Mission

Milwaukee Rescue Mission

Milwaukee Rescue Mission has been serving the homeless since 1893.  MRM's shelter programs provide hundreds of men, women and children with safe shelter, meals and clothing every single day of the year.  In addition to providing essential needs for people, MRM also offers long-term comprehensive residential programs for men and women where they can gain the skills and find the resources to leave our shelters and provide for their families. 

Logo for Meta House

Outreach Community Health Centers

Outreach Community Health Centers (OCHC) provides a variety of services for people who are homeless, poor and uninsured.  Services include treatment services, case management and transitional housing.

Logo for Meta House

Pathfinders, Inc.

Pathfinders provides a variety of youth centered services including emergency youth shelter for ages 11-17, drop-in center, transitional supportive housing for youth ages 18-25, home visiting services for pregnant and parenting youth, case management and street outreach.

Logo for Meta House

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army assists families and individuals in need through emergency shelter, food pantries, medical clinic, transitional and permanent housing, payee services, and seasonal programs for families.

Logo for Meta House

Sojourner Family Peace Center

Sojourner Family Peace Center serves families who are survivors of domestic violence. They provide a shelter, programming for children, and wrap around services.

Logo for Walkers Point

Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center

Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center offers a variety of services including transitional housing, case management and living skills classes for youth ages 16-21 years old.

More About Panhandling

Panhandling takes place when an individual asks for an item of value either silently, by using a sign or a container, or by asking someone directly for money. 

The City of Milwaukee Ordinance 106 -1.1 prohibits “aggressive panhandling” and panhandling at specific locations such as bus stops, public transportation vehicles and facilities, sidewalk cafes and other locations specified in the ordinance.  Violation of this ordinance can result in a fine.


In the News

"Milwaukee's 'Keep The Change' Program Aims to . . ." - WUWM, March 31, 2016

“Keep the Change:” New initiative officially launched . . ." - Fox Channel 6, March 30, 2016

"Keep The Change" Signs Go Up in Milwaukee . . ." - CBS Channel 58, March 30, 2016






Program Materials

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For information and palm cards:

Patricia Ruiz-Cantu



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