Community Warehouse

About Us

Our Story

In 2001 Community Warehouse was just an idea. Four years later it became a reality. Community Warehouse began in the minds of five businessmen who wanted to start a non-profit organization that was different from other non-profits. Their mission would be to offer hope, change, and grace to the under-served residents of Milwaukee. Their services however, were still undecided.  One thing was clearly evident,  their faith in Christ called for them to serve others. The Lord Jesus was going to be their role model.

After some brainstorming, one of the five men, a builder and on the board of directors for the Metropolitan Builders Association, remembered the abundance of unused building materials in the city and surrounding areas. Instead of throwing away these materials, the men realized they could offer them to the community and give residents the opportunity to fix up their homes. They thought the idea of a non-profit home improvement store that offered materials to improve the quality of life in Milwaukee was perfect, and Community Warehouse was born.


Without a location, building or solid plans, not many businesses and organizations took the men seriously. After three years of no luck and lots of pitching, they were granted a miracle.  In 2004, an interested business owner made the first step. He told the men, “The Lord gave me the gift of giving” and not only found them a building, but donated the entire site. Now that their plans included a location, people took notice. They were able to raise $100,000, and the miracles kept on coming.

When it came time to remodel the worn down building, the community became an integral part. Through donations from organizations, businesses, contractors and help from the Metropolitan Builders Association, Community Warehouse was remodeled for under one third of the predicted cost.

The founders decided that of the five of them, George Bogdanovich would be the Executive Director.  In order for Community Warehouse to run as effectively as possible, sacrifices would need to be made. George took a risk and sold a business to run Community Warehouse full time. The Board of Directors became the heart of Community Warehouse. With each individual bringing expertise to the organization, the board continually works to make a difference in the community.

With a building and management in place, it was time to add the final foundation to Community Warehouse: the employees. The goal was to employ individuals from the community who were unemployed and give them a dignified position to improve their lives. Community Warehouse hired second-chance employees and allowed volunteers performing community service to join, creating an environment where grace, love and truth come together.

Community Warehouse opened its doors for the first time on June 27th, 2005. Since opening day, volunteers poured in, looking for ways to help out. Some of these original volunteers still come regularly to Community Warehouse today. Their reason: they see how Community Warehouse is touching lives, and they want to be a part of it.

Despite many obstacles along the way, Community Warehouse has continued to operate on the foundations of grace, dignity and faith. Serving the community is not a gift, but a command at Community Warehouse.  From providing affordable home improvement materials, to offering a healthy and safe environment to work in, Community Warehouse is bringing hope and change to Milwaukee, one household at a time.

 

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