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Milwaukee HUD officials to be honored at charity fundraiser


     Officials of the Milwaukee office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be honored at a fundraising dinner on May 22 to benefit Lissy’s Place, a haven for homeless and abused women on Milwaukee’s West Side.

            Constance Palmer-Jones, chief executive officer of My Home, Your Home Inc., the nonprofit agency that operates Lissy’s Place, said:  “Through a competitive grant process, HUD pays a portion of the operating cost of Lissy’s Place, and we are very grateful for that."

            Palmer-Jones added: “We also want to use this event to acknowledge HUD’s great work throughout the metro area to expand home ownership, increase access to affordable housing and eliminate chronic homelessness.”

            The HUD honorees are Delbert F. Reynolds, who has been director of the Milwaukee Field Office since 1987, and Donna-Lou Hertz, who supervises area programs for the homeless.  Both are Milwaukee natives.

            The fundraising dinner, which includes a silent auction and musical entertainment, will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 22, at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave.              “In order to keep Lissy’s Place open, we must supplement the federal grants with local donations,” said Palmer-Jones.            “This once-a-year gala dinner is a prime opportunity for companies and individuals to show their compassion and support for Milwaukee’s homeless and abused women,” she said. “Through no fault of their own, these young women have been struggling to survive.”            The women who find a haven at Lissy’s (pronounced Lee-sees) Place have little or no income. They may have been subjected to domestic violence, been forced into prostitution for their own survival, have had a dependency on alcohol or illegal drugs, or have had a mental illness, Palmer-Jones said.             She noted that many of the women have grown up in the foster-care system and were left adrift without a support system when foster care stopped at age 18.             Other residents of Lissy’s Place are mothers themselves, striving to be reunited to their children, Palmer-Jones said.

            Lissy’s Place, located in a former convent, serves about 50 homeless and abused women annually.  The maximum stay is two years. Capacity is 17 women at a time.

            “We help the women at Lissy’s Place to increase their skills and resources to prepare them for independent living,” said Palmer-Jones. “Most of them obtain schooling and get a job, and eventually make a successful move to housing of their own, such as an apartment. Our staff helps them every step of the way.”             Tickets are $90. Corporate sponsorships for tables of 10 are available at the $1,000 Silver, $2,000 Gold and $5,000 Platinum levels. Program ads are also available. For tickets, sponsorships, ads or more information, phone Michael Zahn at (414) 447-7017 or e-mail

            Entertainment will include the Music Makers strolling violinists before and during dinner, and the Christopher’s Project jazz band after dinner. Attendees will hear real-life success stories from residents at Lissy’s Place, and from participants in the agency’s other programs.

            The silent auction will feature numerous donated goods and services from local businesses.

      My Home Your Home, which began offering programs in 1993, presents a wide array of services to more than 1,000 children, adults and families. The nonprofit has more than 80 employees and is headquartered at 6200 W. Center St.




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