In This Issue

  • Agency Overview
  • American Family supports Safe and Stable Housing
  • 7th Annual Trivia Night!
  • With Thanks
  • Stronger Together

Agency Overview

As an active member of the Monroe County community, Families First supports and assists residents through their financial and life challenges with respectful and empowering services.

Founded in 1996 Families First of Monroe County is a charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization, serving residents of Monroe County. Families First strives to provide resource, referral and emergency services to individuals and families who are in need.

Families First is a proud member of a collaborative network of individuals, agencies, groups and partners working to ensure less fortunate members of our communities receive effective services to support their most basic needs.

Families First assists residents with identifying appropriate community resources, restoring disconnected utilities, infant supplies, employment support items and general budget and case management services.

Current Families First programming emphasizes Homeless Prevention Programming, for residents experiencing imminent loss of their primary night time residence.

Families First is led by a volunteer Board of Directors, who impart a wide variety of skills and experience working with residents and partners throughout Monroe County.

“The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel, but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.”

- Bryant McGill

American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation provides Safe and Stable Housing support

The ability for families to maintain safe and stable housing remains central to the well-being of the household. Families facing loss of stable housing find themselves at immediate risk of homelessness, which may force households to seek emergency shelter, live in vehicles, or other unsuitable locations.

Families First provides supportive Homeless Prevention programming to families at high risk of losing stable housing. In conjunction with stabilizing support, Families First provides case management services intended to increase future stability through financial literacy, housing education and connection with existing resources.

The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation recently awarded a grant to Families First to support Safe and Stable Housing efforts in the coming year. The award will allow for the continued efforts to stabilize crisis housing situations and support those of our community in times of need.

Thank you to the foundation for your support!

Families First 7th Annual Trivia Night!

Another year of Families First Trivia is in the books! This year’s event brought together 28 teams and nearly 300 people to showcase their knowledge and support Families First. This year’s event was an incredibly close competition with top teams separated by just a handful of points.

The Trivia Night features a ten round, general knowledge competition, with food, prizes and raffle items. Local businesses, schools, community groups, friends and families comprised the 2017 roster of participating teams. Teams displayed their smarts in categories such as, “80’s and 90’s sitcoms”, “Name that Song” and “Disney Movies”.

The 2017 traveling trophy went to “The Shamrockers”, second place, honors went to “Stephen Hawkins School of Dance”. “Team Sasquatch” and “VAF United” were other top teams in the very close competition. The support generated from the fundraiser allows Families First to serve client and program needs throughout the year.

We can’t thank all those involved enough for your support. Mark your calendar for next year’s event, March 10, 2018….. It’s never to early to start thinking Trivia!!!


Together in Service

Families First relies on a strong network of partners who work collaboratively to ensure households in need have access to resources.

How do households hear about the

services available at Families First??

Stronger Together

A young couple visited our office several weeks ago. Due to circumstances well out of the fathers own control, he had recently lost a job of several years. The man is not a stranger to our office, he and his wife have visited with their young daughters to pick up diapers when times were tough. Always very personable and humble. Many families that visit our agency struggle to ask for help and we know when they visit they are trying to make ends meet and didn’t quite get there. The news of the job loss was naturally a setback to the household. Even for families with much, much extra, such news would send tremors through their way of life. For a young family juggling to pay rent, keep lights on and feed the kids the loss feels like an earthquake, a seismic event full of dangerous fissures.

The mom tearfully discussed a recent utility disconnection notice with our case manager, as Dad stepped out into the lobby with the kids and put on his best smile to reassure them that things were going to be ok. Families First provided support for the family to maintain the utility and clothing vouchers for dad to buy some new interview clothes, but more importantly, provided a kind and compassionate ear for the family, a chance to share worries and frustrations in a safe place. Sometimes it helps to talk through thoughts and plans, seek reassurance, get additional validation that things will improve. The family left the office a short time later worn out, but together.

The same couple visited our office last week. Due to persistence and several interviews, the father had recently obtained a new job. The man is not a stranger to our office, he and his wife have visited with their infant daughter to pick up diapers when times were tough. Always very personable and humble. There was no request for diapers on that day, he was there to share better news. “I think I am going to like the new position,” he said. “This one pays more and there is an opportunity for more training!”. The mom popped into the office with one of the little girls, both smiling.

The mom optimistically discussed the future with our case manager, as Dad stepped out into the lobby with the kids. Sometimes the service we offer is a kind and compassionate ear for the family, a chance to share hopes and plans for the future, to celebrate recent successes. The family left the office a short time later, hopeful and together.

The story plays out all to frequently for many Monroe County families facing life and financial challenges. In some cases a return to stability is just over the horizon. In other cases the struggle for stability is ongoing; a small success forward and two pitfalls back. In each case Families First seeks to provide the support needed to build stronger families, as they face challenges together.

Check us Out!!

Families First has recently updated our website to provide information regarding programming, partners and contact.

Visit us at:

With Thanks!!! !!!

We would like to take a moment to recognize supporters of the Families First mission of service. Such generosity and support is greatly appreciated by individuals and households across Monroe County.

  • A Tomah girl, who requested guests of her 8th Birthday party collect personal care items for families in need– rather than bring her gifts! How Neat!
  • The Bible Evangelical Free Church Youth program for providing hand decorated care packages for kids visiting Families First.
  • The Frank G. Andres Charitable Trust for their continued support of local charitable efforts.
  • The Thomas B. Earle Foundation for their continued support.
  • Students of the Robert Kupper Learning Center who provided the muscle for our annual “Trivia Night” setup and Tear down!
  • Queen of the Apostles, 8th grade student, John who generously collected more than 4,000 diapers for families in need. Well Done!

Want to Know More???

As an active member of Monroe County communities, we would be glad to provide additional information or speak to your group at your request.

For additional information please contact

Ben Hein

Executive Director

Families First of Monroe County, Inc.

Want to Support Families First??

Tax Deductible donations are welcomed!

1118 W. Veterans Street, PO Box 707, Tomah WI 54660

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