Awards given to aid collaborative research to address poverty in Milwaukee

Anne and Hobart

UWM has joined with Marquette University and the Johnson Controls Foundation to fund three interdisciplinary research projects through the “President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge: A Crosstown Collaboration to Address Poverty.”

Research teams comprise faculty, staff and students from both institutions along with community partner organizations on joint work that represents critical areas in the efforts to stem the rise of poverty. Projects are receiving up to $75,000 for 18 months.

The winning projects, announced this month, are:

Changing the Story: The Story Fellow Program

Stories that emerge from Milwaukee neighborhoods experiencing poverty tend to focus on crime, not resilience or tales of everyday life. This program will build partnerships between students and community organizations across Milwaukee, enabling a wide range of storytelling from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Team: Anne Basting (English) and Ben Trager (Center for Fommunity-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research) from UWM; Sarah Wadsworth and Andrew Kim from Marquette.

Organizations: The Gathering, Milwaukee Turners, Story MKE, East Side Senior Services, Milwaukee Academy of Sciences, Islands of Brilliance, Beckum Little League/ Park, Milwaukee Parks Foundation, Jewish Family Services.

Expanding Access to Telemental Health Services for Young Adults in Poverty

This pilot project is addressing mental health and access to health care for the most socially vulnerable populations in Milwaukee. The three focus areas will include coordinated community engagement, telehealth and working with the young adult population.

Team: W. Hobart Davies (Psychology) from UWM; Lee Za Ong, Stacee Lerret and Julie Bonner from Marquette.

Organizations: Milwaukee Health Department, City on a Hill, and Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

Healing Adversity and Trauma through Conversation and Hope (HATCH)

This initiative integrates three models of social support or mental health care into Wisconsin Works (W2) and prison reentry services: community-building workshops; peer-led circles of support; and trauma screening and treatment referral. The aim is to support economic self-sufficiency by marrying basic need services (such as employment and housing) with services that address social connection and mental health services.

Team: Dimitri Topitzes (Helen Bader School of Social Welfare) and graduate student Najee Ahmad from UWM, and Ed de St. Aubin from Marquette.

Organizations: Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, Wisconsin Community Services, America Works, Progressive Community Health Centers, Mann Behavioral Services.