Brown Deer, WI. May 16, 2024. JFS celebrated the significant contributions of its project partners and sponsors at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for Woodale Crossing, which will be a new, 56-unit affordable, supportive senior housing community in Brown Deer, WI. In addition, 25% of the units are designated for those with mental or physical disabilities. Over 150 people attended the event. See more below…

Key Leadership and Dignitaries Break Ground

Pictured are speakers who addressed stakeholders, partners, sponsors, neighbors and residents of JFS housing.

Wisconsin Lt. Governor Sara Rodriguez – click for video.

Opening remarks and event emcee by JFS Board President, Adam Witkov. Click for opening remarks.

Regional Rep. Rebecca Buretta (seated left of Lt. Governor) provided a message from US Sen. Tammy Baldwin read by JFS President of the Board Adam Witkov to read. Click for video.

Maria Ayala, representative from Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s office, reading the proclamation for JFS Housing. Click for video.

James Mathy spoke about the project’s history (DHHS Housing Administrator). Click for video.

DHHS Executive Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain gave detail about the project. Click for video.

Elmer Moore, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority gave supportive remarks. Click here to watch.

Brown Deer native and Village Trustee Priscilla Hightower Thompson spoke about a personal connection to the project. Click here for video.

Shelby Guendel, JFS Community Case Management Supervisor, and Sharon Jackson, Community Resource Coordinator, shared first-hand client experiences. Click here for video.

JFS President and CEO, John Yopps, spoke about the uniqueness that JFS can not only provide affordable housing, but provides the support within that makes the community thrive. Click here for video.

Thank you to our sponsors of the groundbreaking ceremony, whose contributions provide mental health and social services for the residents of Woodale Crossing.
Thank you to all of the Project Partners including JLA, Greenfire, CIBC, NEF, Forward Community Investments, Milwaukee County DHHS, FHL Bank Chicago, the Otto Bremer Trust, Bader Philanthropies and the Stackner Foundation.
JFS Housing Board

The celebration included a signature event root beer and a live painter.

Signature root beer varieties “Wood Ale” and “Woo Brew” (less filling) play on the unique spelling of Woodale.
Plein air artist Jenny Anderson captures the scene live as a commemorative painting.

Cover Image identification: From left: Event speakers included Village Trustee Priscilla Hightower Thompson, JFS Community Resource Coordinator Sharon Jackson, Regional Rep. for US Senator Tammy Baldwin Rebecca Buretta, Rep. for U.W. Representative Gwen Moore, Milwaukee County Dept. of Health and Human Services Housing Administrator James Mathy, Milwaukee County Dept. of Health and Human Services Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Sara Rodriguez, a resident of Deerwood Crossing, JFS President and CEO John Yopps, JFS Community Case Management Supervisor Shelby Guendel, WHEDA Chief Executive Officer Elmer Moore, Jr., JFS VP of Housing Dan Fleischman, and JFS President of the Board Adam Witkov.

JFS Staff: from left – Joe Sykora, Perry Henry, Sharon Jackson, Sara Corey, John Yopps, Mortez Evans, Jenny Heyden, Deb Langkau, Shelby Guendel, Scott Kohlman, Dan Fleischman, Kevin Boland.

Media Contact: Jenny Heyden, 414-225-1345,