Community Warehouse, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit that employs background-challenged individuals at its building materials resale shop, is opening a second location with the help of IFF financing. The new facility expands the nonprofit’s presence to the city’s north side and doubles-down on the nonprofit’s mission to transform lives through the dignity of work.
The new north side facility will house part of Community Warehouse’s “Milwaukee Working” program, which directly employs men and women who are either under employed, never employed, or background challenged. The program’s two staffed departments include 22 full-time and three part-time employees, and the new facility will add 8-12 full-time employees. Most of their work includes collecting, selling, and shipping items on Amazon.com, as well as light assembly of home improvement products that are sold on-site. The new location is expected to open this summer.
Here’s how Community Warehouse works: Milwaukee-area businesses donate building materials that would otherwise be scrapped; Community Warehouse’s employees sort, label, and display the materials in the clean, well-stocked, well-organized warehouse; individuals, businesses, and nonprofits from the community purchase the materials at a deeply discounted price.
“Everyone wins. Businesses can write off their donations, otherwise hard-to-employ individuals get work experience and job training, and the community has a great resource for low-cost building materials,” said Sue Eick, IFF’s Director of Lending in Wisconsin. “The neighborhood benefits too, as many of the building materials are used to rebuild homes and businesses here.”