MUM serves as the fiscal agent and incubator for a number of projects in our community:
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice (WFVJ) – is a progressive, interfaith statewide advocacy organization. Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice seeks to advocate for the common good, particularly in the areas of hunger, poverty, healthcare and economic justice. WFVJ focuses on the expansion of healthcare to all Wisconsin residents, works to educate the community regarding poverty, offering a Poverty Simulation, and has also focused on economic justice as part of the movement to increase the minimum wage.
Street Pulse Newspaper – Street Pulse Newspaper is a cooperative newspaper written and developed primarily by people who have been or are currently homeless. Articles and artwork are the work of people affected by homelessness, and the paper employs individuals who are homeless as vendors for the paper. Vendors are trained and assigned a location for sales. Vendors purchase the papers from the cooperative for a nominal cost and sell papers for $1.00 per copy, keeping the revenue for their sales.
Allied Partners – Allied Partners is comprised of faith communities and people of faith who come together monthly to support projects and services in the Allied Drive Neighborhood. Allied Partners support the Allied Wellness Center, the Allied Food Pantry located in the Boys and Girls Club, an eviction prevention fund, the Allied Neighborhood Association and a special projects fund. The Dane County Joining Forces for Families (JFF) Social Worker and MUM staff work collaboratively on the Eviction Prevention Fund with JFF working with families in need of housing assistance and then referring the family to MUM for the actual cash assistance.
Allied-Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association – The Allied Drive Neighborhood Association works to strengthen the Allied Drive neighborhood through community organizing, special projects such as the Allied Drive Festival, community meals and a mobile food pantry during the summer months.
Emergency Food Pantry – Participants in any of MUM’s programs can also access our Non-Perishable Emergency Food Pantry, on site at MUM. Originally created to ensure that no one newly released from prison left our office hungry, families of incarcerated individuals who are involved with Mentoring or Family Connections may also access the pantry. Up to two days of food is provided for individuals and families, as well as a referral to the larger food pantry network in Dane County.
Micro-Loan Fund – Individuals actively engaged in MUM’s re-entry programs may be eligible to apply for our Micro-loan program. The Micro-loan program was developed in 2006 with a donation from First Baptist Church. The program was MUM’s response to the need we saw for access to credit among newly released individuals. Our goal was to offer an alternative to predatory pay day lending businesses in our community. Loosely based on the Grameen Bank model, the program offers loans of up to $250.00. Borrowers make small weekly payments toward their loan and are able to use MUM as a credit reference as long as their payments are current. Since 2007 loans have been made to assist with educational needs, clothing for a new job, fees to reinstate a license or vehicle tags, assistance with first month’s rent or security deposit, and with materials to begin a business.
Dane County Faith Community Coalition (formerly the Greater Isthmus Group) – The Dane County Faith Coalition is a round table work group that meets monthly to address critical issues around housing stability for all persons. Representatives from different faith communities and other organizations come together to work on common concerns that impact affordable housing. The group was instrumental in obtaining the original funding for the Warming House operated by the Salvation Army, has offered trainings and educational programming on housing issues throughout Dane County, and offers networking opportunities for faith communities engaged in housing issues. Currently the group continues its focus on housing issues with the implementation of the Rent Smart program. The Rent Smart curriculum was developed by the University of WI Extension and focuses on obtaining and maintaining housing, understanding a lease, being a good tenant, budgeting, tenant rights, and communicating with your landlord. MUM staff offers the Rent Smart program within the community and offers a modified version called “Ready to Rent” at the Dane County Jail.
Eviction Prevention – MUM is the administrator of two eviction prevention funds supported by area congregations. The funds are specific to two geographic areas of the community and referrals are made through with Dane County’s Joining Forces for Families program.