'Warms my heart:' Homeless in Waukesha County connected with resources during inaugural event

Donald Coman

WAUKESHA -- Project Homeless Connect was held at Carroll University in Waukesha Monday, Sept. 9 for the first time.

Donald Coman, one of hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in Waukesha County, took full advantage -- getting a fresh cut and winter boots.

"I'm just enjoying the day before the cold," said Coman.

"We're really hoping that the people that need the help come and that they get what they need," said Nicole Angresano with the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County.

Project Homeless Connect is an annual one-day event dedicated to serving individuals experiencing homelessness by providing health screenings and access to community resources in one convenient location. The inaugural event in Waukesha County took place during the program's 10th year.

"It warms my heart to see people getting help that need help," said Shawn Reilly, Waukesha mayor.

John Tatum, who used to be homeless himself, was among the hundreds of volunteers.

"You know when they say rock bottom?" said Tatum. "I was at rock bottom. Got my own apartment now. It's going good."

He and others offered advice to those seeking help Monday.

"I just tell them when they come in, just to take the resources and use them," said Tatum.

John Tatum

Organizers said the smiles as people walked out the door were priceless.

"It's just a really humbling, gratifying day," said Angresano.

Mayor Reilly said roughly 900 people are homeless in Waukesha at any given time.

CLICK HERE to learn much more about the United Way's Project Homeless Connect.