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About Us

 

The Walkin’ In My Shoes, Inc., is 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization that began in 2005 as a grass-roots, community effort led by Jo A Wynn, in response to the increasing issue of underserved homeless populations throughout the United States. Jo Wynn would walk the streets and go into areas where they congregate and provide a listening ear and a hand of compassion. During this she identified three very pressing needs that were not being met by other community organizations. The three were: 1) the number of young people and women with children living on the streets that were turned away or placed on waiting lists because shelters were at capacity; 2) the need for housing assistance for the homeless population and; 3) the lack of information and access to prevention services for those persons living on the street.

 

To prevent the risk of sexual exploitation of these young people, men and women with their children, a new agency emerged to provide them with services that help them leave the streets. Walkin’ In My Shoes established the Street Outreach Program to provide information about prevention services that will link the homeless with immediate emergency shelter assistance and to secure adequate placement within 24 hours. This was done in an effort to reduce the number of homeless youth, women and children on the streets of Kenosha who were at risk of being, sexually abused, exploited or commit crimes to try to meet their basic needs.

 

Walkin’ In My Shoes developed the Survival Backpack as part of the street outreach program to provide underserved unsheltered street homeless individuals and families (youth, men, women and children) with immediate needs including personal care items for youth and women with children in at-risk situations. The primary goal of the street outreach program is to provide positive alternatives to ensure their safety, and maximize their potential to take advantage of available opportunities and assistance. In addition community resource information to help them access support services in Kenosha designated to assist them further transitions from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The ultimate goal is to reduce homelessness in America by networking with other community organizations that can serve the needs of homeless persons'.

 

The backpack was inspired by the founder's ten-year-old three pound Toy Maltese named "Isaiah" everywhere she goes he would travel tucked away inside her backpack.

 

Since Walkin' In My Shoes launched in July 2005, we have reached out to help over 700 individuals and families leave the street and into permanent affordable housing. Among them were single women, and women with children, men/single fathers. Single parent with children, veterans, senior citizens, people living with HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, ex-offenders, mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse, under aged minors, teens thrown away, teens that have aged out of the foster care system and teens who have aged out adopted homes.

 

We partner with a diverse range of public, private and religious organizations and concerned citizens who share our commitment to improve the lives of our forgotten society.

 

Walkin' In My Shoes' founder have been featured in the Kenosha News and the Racine Insider newspaper. The founder has also received two citizenship awards from the Kenosha Junior Woman's Club and the General Federation Women's Club of Wisconsin for her outstanding service in the community.

 

Walkin' In My Shoes, Inc., daily operations is ran by its chief executive officer, board of directors and volunteers. Our office hours are 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday by appointment only. Closed Friday reviewing case file. The New Drop-In Center Hours for Homeless Youth are Monday though Friday from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. Our 24 hour emergency hotline is available to them 365 days a year by calling (262) 914-2077.

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to webmaster@walkininmyshoes.org.
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Last Modified: 12/06/2011