United Way Fox Cities

Derek’s New Beginning

*This client’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

People can become homeless for any number of reasons. The devastating effects of homelessness are a harsh reality in the Fox Cities – but like Derek*, many have found their footing again.

“I’ve been homeless since 2018. I had an apartment for three years, but then I got evicted. I had a bunch of people staying with me, and I got behind on rent. I started going to the Adult Shelter first.

When I first started going there, they were still doing the mats on the floor. […] I go to sign some paperwork today [for an apartment in Neenah]. It will feel good to be on my own again. The (Pillars) Resource Center has the resources for housing. They have good case managers here that work with you.”


Today, Derek has secured his own apartment and sees a brighter future.

What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Every $50 gift to United Way Fox Cities aids a person experiencing homelessness with one night of safe shelter, a shower, and a hot meal.

While crisis response is critical, organizations like United Way and Pillars know that addressing homelessness is bigger than providing a place to sleep for the night. It requires a preventative, community-wide approach.

Our goal is to see everyone in the Fox Cities accessing the tools and surroundings they need to find stable ground. We all have work to do: according to the latest ALICE report, 34% of Wisconsin households live below the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Threshold of Financial Survival. But we know that financial stability is possible when we remove barriers to employment, transportation, housing, and more.

Together, we can work to ensure everyone in our community has a more secure future.

If you are struggling to find or pay for housing, you are not alone. To connect with local resources, call 211 or visit 211now.org.

(Photo Credit: Adam Hilbelink, November 2, 2022)

Leave a Reply