About Willma's Fund
Willma's Fund is a project of OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center that provides relief for LGBTQ+ homelessness or support to prevent homelessness.
Willma's Fund was founded by Donald Haar. Donald was the former Kettle Campaign Coordinator at the Salvation Army of Dane County, and in addition to this Donald is an activist that works to end homelessness in the LGBT community. Because of his concerns about homelessness in this population in Dane County, he started Willma's Fund in April 2011.
Donald is an openly gay man that has been a drag performer since the 1970s. The Willma’s Fund project was funded primarily by drag shows that feature his drag character, Willma Flynn-Stone, and other performers that donate their time, energy and money to help homeless people.
Since that time, Willma’s Fund now receives grants, private donations, and additional support for other entertainers in the community. Willma still performs shows for the cause and does her annual turnabout at the OutReach Awards Banquet every year.
Currently the Program Director and Media/IT Manager of OutReach work with the case by case management of those that apply for Willma’s Fund.
For further information about this program, contact AJ Hardie at OutReach LGBT Community Center – 608.255.8582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willma's Fund Process
Willma's Fund is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 6pm by calling 608-255-8582. If our Willma's Fund Interim Coordinator can take your call immediately the assessment process can begin right away but they may need to take your call later. If there is a wait list, you will be informed on the next time the Willma's Fund Interim Coordinator can call you.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all assessments are done over the phone and not in the office. The assessment takes about a half hour to 45 minutes to process and go through. After that, we can determine how best we can help.
Things to know about Willma’s Fund assistance:
We cannot guarantee exact amounts we can help with or what we can do until we have an assessment.
Willma's Fund only assists with short-term, immediate needs.
We cannot do long term stays at hotels or pay both a security deposit and rent for permanent housing.
We do not guarantee amounts we can give for rent or a security deposit.
If we provide a hotel room for clients they must also abide by the rules of the hotel or they forfeit help from Willma's Fund.
We only help with one financial gift per year per client.
We do not find places to live for clients, they must do the leg work and if they are offered a place to live, we must have a copy of the lease so we know where to send a check to.
If clients are in need of a hotel instead we have a maximum of days we can do that. We would determine through an assessment.
An assessment over the phone or in person needs to be done to determine the amount we can give or the help that is needed.
We are only budgeted a certain amount for each month as the fund continues to be used. Sometimes we have to suspend the fund after a certain point each month if funds are low.
While some of our funding is to provide assistance for homelessness or low income, we do not turn people away if they are in crisis. If there is a significant financial strain due to factors in people's lives, we will assist them regardless of income level.
Visit us on Facebook! Willma's Fund messaging is available during OutReach work hours, Mon-Fri 12pm to 7pm. An assessment must be done over the phone. You can ask to speak about our general services, however.