Photo Bus Tour Shows Bloated Welfare
Bureaucracy in Milwaukee


        Editors, writers, artists, activists, photographers, videographers, students, elders, youth, mothers, babies and toddlers joined the Welfare Warriors' photo bus tour of Milwaukee's Bloated Welfare Empire on May 11. The Tourists represented newspapers, radio stations, senior citizen groups, churches, political parties and the UN. They came from Milwaukee, Kenosha, Chicago and Ireland to see and record the reality of W2's exorbitant costs to the taxpayers. They came with cameras and camcorders, notebooks and tape recorders.

        The 3 hour Tour began at the Welfare Warriors Mothers Organizing Center near downtown, Milwaukee. Tour Guide and Welfare Warriors' Director Pat Gowens provided tourists with a general history of the welfare corporations, the dollar amounts of their W2 contracts and bonuses, and the number of cases served. The information came from an Audit conducted by the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (4/11/01). There were gasps and shocked silence as the tour progressed.  Most "tourists" were appalled to learn how few mothers and children are sharing in the millions of dollars enjoyed by welfare professionals.

Following are some of the facts about the embarrassing bureaucracies created by the private W2 welfare corporations in Milwaukee:

Goodwill's W2 Agency: Employment Solutions -- 4030 N. 29th St. Milwaukee, WI 53216 (and 6550 N. 76, Milwaukee, 53223)
 
      Goodwill's current contract includes $87.5 million plus $6.1 million in bonuses to “serve” 1,713 cash cases and 1,169 “case managements".* ($54,641 per cash case.) Goodwill admitted “misspending” $370,000 of their Wisconsin welfare money for work in other states, meals, drinks and parties. This is felony welfare fraud. Goodwill regularly illegally denies money to mothers in crisis in order to generate millions in profits.

 

OIC--2947 N. Martin Luther King Drive; Milwaukee, WI 53212 (and 6091 N. Teutonia Milwaukee, WI 53206) Director William Clay, 414-908-3302.

OIC, African American owned, is Milwaukee’s oldest privatized welfare program, having received a JOBS’ contract well before the start of W2.  OIC’s current contract includes $47.1 million plus $3.5 million in bonuses to “serve” 1,082 cash cases and 573 “case managements.” ($46,765 per cash case.) OIC’s claim to fame is having co-opted formerly fiery Milwaukee rebels, Mike McGee and Doris Green, by funding McGee’s daily radio show with welfare funds and hiring Green as W2 Director.

"If this were happening in a foreign country, the Americans would have invaded to restore democracy. They'd be bombing and sanctioning. These W2 corporations are war criminals--making war on the people."

Margaretta D'Arcy

YW Works -- 1915 N. Martin Luther King Drive Milwaukee, WI 53212 Director Julia Taylor, 414-374-1800

        Milwaukee’s YWCA, formerly a feminist organization, has forgotten their Christian and Women’s mission. YW’s W2 current contract includes $36.5 million plus $2.6 million in bonuses to “serve”
609 cash cases and 393 “case managements.” ($64,203 per cash case.)
YW started out as an oppressive JOBS program that forced moms to quit college to take YW’s 6 week Nurses Aid Training or 3 month Typing Course. YW graduated to a W2 contract and purchased “Generation Plastics” Factory on 35th and Townsend to benefit from the free forced labor of women in crisis, primarily women with disabilities. Welfare Warriors true life ballad, W2 Life Is Scum, tells of one disabled mom’s suffering at the hands of the YWCA.

Margaretta D'Arcy, dressed as a gold miner, looks for gold in them there W2 walls

 

Private Industry Council (PIC) - 101 W. Pleasant Milwaukee, WI  Director Gerard Randall Jr., 225-2360

     This company gets paid $5.7 million as “oversight coordinator” of W2 contracts. But what do they do? They claim that all W2 agencies are self-employed contractors, so once W2 agencies sign their contracts, PIC denies any control--both fiscal and procedural--over these corporations. The purpose of PIC’s $5.7 million contract still remains a mystery.  (It is such a mystery that you even have to search the grounds to find the name of the place anywhere!)

"Where is all that money going ?"
Dennis Williams--Freelance photographer

Milwaukee County Dept. Human Services 1220 W. Vliet, 53233; Director Ralph Hollman 289-6816

The Milwaukee County Human services was the old welfare department before the system was completely taken over by corporate greed. They receive $0 in W2 funds, yet all of the hundreds of County welfare workers and supervisors retained their jobs after the cash benefit system was taken over by private agencies! The County administers only Foodstamps and Medical Assistance, yet 75% of eligible families do not receive food stamps now. What do those hundreds of County workers do now? Another mystery!
      Though County workers often used illegal, inhumane and bigoted tactics to discourage clients, they did not combine their prejudice with greed, a lethal combination now influencing the decisions of all five
privatized W2 agencies.

UMOS (United Migrant Opportunity Services) -- 1644 S. 9th 53204;
Director Lupe Martinez 671-5700

"How do they get away with it?" Salvador DeLeon--Esperanza Unida

        Formed to work with and help Mexican migrant workers, this group morphed into just another greedy W2 agency that hurts Latina mamas instead of helping them. UMOS has a current W2 contract of $ 37 million plus $ 2.2 million in bonuses to “serve” 844 cash cases and 597 “case managements.” ($46,446 per cash case) This wealthy $1.6 Billion corporation, founded to help people with disabilities, exploits and abuses the disabled through its corrupt, for-profit W2 program.

Maximus -- 1304 S. 70th St. West Allis, WI 53214; Director Jerry Stepaniak 607-7596-

     Maximus came to town to make profit off the poor and they have. Their current contract is for $ 45.1 million and $ 3.2 million in bonuses to “serve” 1,068 cash cases and 524 “case managements.” ($45,224 per cash case) Maximus admitted to spending Wisconsin welfare money in New York to secure a welfare contract, and in Wisconsin on “disallowed meals,” social activities, parties, a fatherhood summit by Hudson Institute conservative think tank, a stage at a French festival, performers, and fanny packs with their company logo.  In addition to GREED, this is felony welfare FRAUD!* All figures from Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau 4/11/01

"When millionaire agencies bilk the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars both the state and the media label their massive welfare fraud as merely "inappropriate" and "improper spending." Yet a single mom on welfare who "improperly" or "inappropriately" reports income is charged with felony welfare fraud and prosecuted criminally. Neither the state, the DA, nor the media take pity on the desperate mom with euphemistic language like "improper" or "erroneous" reporting. She is labeled, charged, prosecuted , convicted and sentenced as a criminal. And yes, she also has to repay the state." Pat Gowens, Welfare Warriors Director