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Cross Lutheran Church

Strongly rooted in Milwaukee’s near northside, Cross Lutheran Church was established in 1870. Cross has played a significant role in its community through 150 years of ministry. It has birthed numerous multicultural ministries, including the Bread of Healing Ministry (BOHEM), Project RETURN, and JobsWork MKE. Cross' programs focus on serving those in need and empowering them to gain the purpose they seek for themselves, wherever they are on their journey.

Primary Focus: Area Meal Program, Food Pantry, Older Adult Center, Men’s Wellness, Women’s Faith Group, Cooking classes, Youth Mentoring

Requesting funds for Operating Support

Operating Budget: $646,360

Lutheran Affiliation: ELCA

Programs: The Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry (BOHEM) was created to meet the needs of the community, including hunger, poverty, and disconnection from the community, church, and God. Participants gain independence, positive behaviors, and an improved sense of self and purpose in life. Activities include a men's wellness program, Bible Study, counseling and spiritual guidance, youth engagement, and the following programs:

  • Food pantry and meal program: Each week approximately 150 people receive meals and pre-bagged food with recipe cards at the pantry and adjacent Shalom High School. Nurse Linda Radder participates in meetings with Feeding America to advocate for high-quality fresh produce.

  • Nutrition Classes: About 15-20 people attend bi-monthly in-person nutrition classes that encourage preventative care for adults with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. The American Cancer Society also supports this program.

  • Community Garden: Twelve plots are tended by intergenerational volunteers.

Who is Served: The confirmed membership of Cross is 65% people of color (including mixed race, Hispanic and Asian) and 35% White. The BOHEM serves three of the poorest zip codes in the city. Many residents are chronically unemployed, have limited access to resources, and experience alcohol and/or drug addiction. The BOHEM Wednesday meal program serves an average of 220-250 people weekly.

Location: 1821 N. 16th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205


Note: the following video was created by Outreach for Hope to support ministries of congregations located in low-income central city areas of the Greater Milwaukee Synod, ELCA.

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