Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Guest House of Milwaukee’s Cream City Gardens

A trained physician and entrepreneur who has enjoyed success in areas as diverse as practice management and pond remediation, Dr. Steven Armus is the owner of Native Prairie Restoration, located in Franksville, Wisconsin. A keen gardener, Steven Armus lends his talents to The Guest House of Milwaukee by volunteering in the nonprofit’s community gardens.

The organization operates the Cream City Gardens, which provide produce to the Guest House, in addition to members of the community and the food pantries overseen by the Friedens Community Ministries. The gardens have a transformative effect, allowing the group to create an active and healthy urban farm that serves those in need while also offering opportunities to the people the guest house actively shelters and provides for. 

The Urban Agriculture Training Program, for instance, is used to teach some of the basic skills of gardening, agriculture, and the basic tenets of urban agriculture in particular. Many who graduate from the program go on to find work in farmer’s markets, supermarket produce departments, and other urban projects.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Guest House of Milwaukee Endeavors to Help the Homeless

After graduating with an MD from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Steven Armus went on to a medical career in Racine, Wisconsin. Currently working as a prairie restoration consultant, Steven Armus also donates to the Guest House of Milwaukee.

The Guest House of Milwaukee had its beginning in 1981, when increasing numbers of homeless residents caused Milwaukee's Central City Churches to push for a neighborhood solution to the problem. The county government made an old emergency room lobby available for a shelter. In 2015, the Guest House added 8,000 square feet to its facility including a modern commercial kitchen with more dorm and restroom space. 

Despite the progress made in serving the disadvantaged, there are still approximately 1,500 individuals homeless every night in the city, while there are only about 1,000 available beds. Of these homeless men, 39 percent suffer from some form of mental illness, and 20 percent are veterans.