'Happy Hour for the Homeless' kicks off in Milwaukee, 55+ bars, restaurants to participate in 10-day fundraiser

NOW: ’Happy Hour for the Homeless’ kicks off in Milwaukee, 55+ bars, restaurants to participate in 10-day fundraiser

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- More than 50 bars and restaurants in Milwaukee County are banding together to raise money for our local houseless community in a 10-day fundraiser called 'Happy Hour for the Homeless.'

Getting involved is simple -- if you drink, you can help.

One dollar from every drink sold during specific happy hours will benefit two Milwaukee organizations.

The first is Courage MKE, a group dedicated to helping displaced LGBTQ+ youth in the area.

“Our goal is to take some of these homeless or aged out of foster care youth and really give them the tools that they need to thrive," said Operations Manager Marissa Bray. 

Courage MKE opened Wisconsin's first home for queer youth in 2019. Now four years later, they're working on opening a second for young adults ages 18 to 24.

“For us it will cost $250,000 to house six to seven young adults, ensure that they get case management, provide them with security, rules, stability," Bray said. "It's imperative that we help our youth."

The second is the Street Angels, a mobile outreach program that provides the houseless with essential items and goods.

“Our presence on the street is more about connecting with people and letting them know that they’re loved and that they’re cared for. Every dollar helps us do that," said Co-Director Shelly Sarasin. “Nonprofits, we rely on community support, and this is just such an easy way for people to get involved and also learn about homelessness at the same time.”

BeerPass, a free downloadable app that partners with local breweries, helped host the fundraiser in Rochester, New York last year.

“I think the main goal beyond the financial donations is really awareness," said Operations Officer Aimee Lewis. “It’s so tough for people to know exactly how to help that community and so it’s amazing to work with great charities like Street Angels and Courage MKE that know exactly how to use the money, to use the volunteers, to use all of the resources they have to help people from that community.”

If you want to download BeerPass, use the code "DONATE" which will make your first month only $5 dollars compared to the normal $8.99. 

Those $5 dollars will be sent to the fundraiser as well.

“Even if you can’t donate, times are kind of tough right now, share our message," Bray said. "Share the facts, go on social media, follow us, and talk to people about it because the need is there, and you never know who’s going to be listening.”

The fundraiser started on Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 10.

For a full list of the participating places, click here

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