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Leadership Kenosha — November 2023


“Social Service in Kenosha”
November 15, 2023
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Blog Submission – Mike Magnuson

I chose to do this blog in a unique format - In a true Uline-employee fashion, here’s my Top 3 things from the day:

Title:Suppose Nobody Cares

This was a jam-packed session regarding poverty. Thanks to Abby and Tamarra at the Shalom Center for hosting & touring our group. It was an eye-opening experience for me (& the rest of the group).

  1. Shalom Center – Far more than just a soup kitchen.
    They’re a full-service operation to get homeless people back on their feet.
    1. Soup Kitchen – 41 years without missing a hot meal. Impressive!
    2. Food Pantry – Offers grocery pickup and delivery for low-income residents and seniors.
    3. Shelter – Short-term housing for both families and individuals.
    4. Full Case Management – Develop a plan for each family to get to their next best place.
      1. Jobs, forced saving of income, FSET, W2’s, etc.
    5. Action: Shalom Center needs donations – cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, and food.
  1. Kenosha Housing Dilemma – Rents are skyrocketing – It’s a supply & demand issue.
    1. More people are coming to town (Demand is up):
      1. Job growth in Kenosha brings new residents to the area.
      2. IL to WI transplants – Taking advantage of lower WI taxes.
      3. Gen Z + Millennials looking to move out of their parents’ residences.
    2. # of Residences Stays Flat (Supply is down):
      1. County has been slow to build new homes/apartments in the past 10+ years.
      2. High mortgage rates (7%+) – Buying / selling activity is low, especially Seniors.
      3. Home prices skyrocketed during Covid – requires larger down payments.
    3. Action: Keep a close eye on this – housing is being built, but is it truly affordable housing? Who are the builders – out of town developers or locals?
  2. “Impactful-ness” Ranking Activity
    1. We ranked 6 scenarios with varying degrees of participation / engagement.
    2. I was fascinated at the differing views on importance.
      1. Action-oriented to the current cause
        • Tangible Actions – Directly donate your money & time.
      2. Action-oriented for the future solution
        • Awareness Campaigns – social media, gov’t lobbying and focus groups.
    3. There was an even split - tackling the current issue or working to fix the root problem.
    4. All 6 things are important - And it’s good to have a balance of resources dedicated to both the current problems and future solutions.

So, supposed nobody cared, who would step up and help tackle the poverty cause? All of today’s exercises demonstrated that leaders in the community aren’t out for clout or pay – they do it because it’s the right thing to do. They lead by example in the hopes to influence others to take action.

-Mike Magnuson

Posted on

November 27, 2023


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