October 4, 2021

FCI Teams Up with Safe & Sound to Purchase Headquarters on Milwaukee’s Northwest Side


Exterior of the Safe Sound Church

Milwaukee, WI – FCI partnered with Safe & Sound to purchase a property that will be utilized as a new headquarters in the Roosevelt Grove neighborhood on Milwaukee’s northwest side. Safe & Sound is dedicated to improving neighborhood safety in some of Milwaukee’s most economically challenged neighborhoods to foster a sense of ownership and bridge the gap between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community at large through community organizing, youth programming, and coordination with local residents.

Currently, Safe & Sound’s offices are co-located within the North Central High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area offices in a building that is inconveniently located for residents living in the communities they serve. The acquisition and rehabilitation of the property that housed a former church, located in the center of multiple Safe & Sound priority communities, will bring the organization closer to the communities they work with and serve including the Amani, Sherman Park, and Parklawn neighborhoods.

“With the support of FCI we are able to purchase and renovate a new permanent home for our work in the Sherman Park/Parklawn neighborhood, an area in which we serve the community on a daily basis, states Joe’Mar Hooper, Executive Director of Safe & Sound. “This new space will house our current staff, while also giving us room for future growth as we look to serve even more residents in Milwaukee. This new building also gives us space to now host community meetings and programming while creating space that can be used by our partners and the residents we serve. We are grateful for the partnership and support from Forward Community Investments for helping us to become a truly community-based organization as we look forward to our next 25 years of service to the community,” continues Hooper.

Safe & Sound has been a pillar in Milwaukee for over 25 years. Their approach to improvements in public safety requires the combination of law enforcement, community organizing, and youth development that has produced incredible results. This unique approach allows them to be nimble and flexible which was vital to their success in 2020 as COVID-19 affected the communities they work in an unprecedented way. As the pandemic disrupted usual operations, the organization found creative ways to continue assisting the communities where they work. They transitioned to virtual community organizing meetings connecting directly with residents and providing weekly resource guides that became a trusted source of information for residents and partners. To assist those in need of a warm meal, Safe & Sound created the Family Friday Meals Campaign which raised funds for families to receive a filling and comforting meal that was delivered to their front door from a local restaurant. Through this program, Safe & Sound collaborated with 11 local restaurants and caterers to deliver more than 1,300 hot meals to residents across the city.

FCI, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is an investor, connector, and advisor for nonprofit organizations, initiatives, and emerging developers that reduce social, racial, and economic disparities in Wisconsin. Our primary goal is to infuse capital into economically underserved communities and neighborhoods using a variety of lending tools. Since our inception in 1994, FCI has deployed over $100 million in capital resources in Milwaukee and surrounding communities that support community-led projects that work to address issues of racial inequality and socioeconomic disparities. Projects financed through FCI include childcare facilities, recreational facilities, community health centers, charters schools, and youth arts and performance centers.

Ryan Zerwer, FCI’s President & CEO shares, “FCI is committed to supporting organizations that serve Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods. Safe & Sound provides vital services that keep communities connected and foster the kind of peace needed to repair themselves. We are proud to be a part of their mission and a partner investing capital in areas that have long suffered from disinvestment.”

Safe & Sound has recently closed on the acquisition of the property, located at 4422 West Leon Terrace, and plans to complete updates on the facility in early fall. This exciting new project will be fully operational later this fall.

Congratulations Safe & Sound!

About Forward Community Investments

FCI envisions an equitable and inclusive Wisconsin built on cooperative social action. In our capacity as a statewide CDFI, we are always looking for opportunities to work with and provide financing to nonprofits who are making an impact in reducing racial and economic disparities in Wisconsin. If you are interested in learning more about our financial products, please visit our Lending Products page here or our New Markets Tax Credit page here for further information. If you have a project you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@forwardci.org



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