Ryan Findley
Rebuilding Dreams

Creating avenues of hope at Repairers of the Breach

TCD talks with the people behind Rebuilding Dreams, a fundraising event happening tonight at Lakefront Brewery. Proceeds will benefit Repairers of the Breach.

By - Aug 9th, 2012 04:00 am

From left to right: MacCanon Brown executive director Repairers of the Breach, Lynn Felhofer, art donor, Elizabeth D’Acquisto, owner of Salone and host of Rebuilding Dreams.

Elizabeth D’Acquisto, owner of Salone on Ogden Avenue, has organized a fundraising event for Repairers of the Breach, an innovative day center for the homeless of Milwaukee, at Lakefront Brewery this Thursday, August 9. The event will include live music (including a performance by the Repairers of the Breach Choir), dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. All proceeds will benefit Repairers of the Breach.

Repairers of the Breach has since its inception in 1991 offered a place for the homeless to gather during the day, mail and message services, showers, and a sense of dignity and connection. Repairers is unique among homeless shelters in that it is a daytime shelter, and more importantly in that it is governed by the people that utilize its services. This provides a sense of community and ownership that can be swept away by homelessness.

D’Acquisto has organized two previous events to benefit Repairers of the Breach, at the Harley-Davidson Museum and Turner Hall, that have netted the organization more than $50,000. The goal for this year’s silent auction is $30,000.

“For the third time, she’s demonstrating her compassion for homeless people,” MacCanon Brown, Repairers of the Breach Executive Director, said of D’Acquisto. “She really believes in all the work that takes place at 14th and Vliet in our Repairers of the Breach Center.”

After the recession hit, D’Acquisto was motivated to find ways to help, which led her to Repairers of the Breach.

“I went to the original location the morning that the hurricane hit Haiti,” she said. “I stopped in my tracks and I realized that this is where I need to be.”

Brown praised the work D’Acquisto is doing.

“Instead of bringing attention to herself, she focuses on the need for compassionate work,” said Brown. “She focuses on the actual people we serve, and the need for avenues of hope.”

Elizabeth D’Acquisto displays just some of the items featured at the Rebuilding Dreams silent auction

The event on Thursday at Lakefront will feature the music of the Five Card Studs, as well as a silent auction including everything from prints from the Homeless Not Helpless exhibition by artist Rebecca Moczulewski to a football autographed by Green Bay Packers All-Pro, Charles Woodson.

D’Acquisto said the Rebuilding Dreams auction includes 70 different items that she organized with a big help from the community.

“I definitely hustled for the homeless,” she said.

Repairers recently undertook a $2 million capital campaign to expand the facility and the services offered, including a medical clinic which is currently operating, and planned GED assistance, computer literacy classes and employment assistance, and clothing distribution.

“People really connect,” said Brown. “We’re known for being an organization that brings people into connectedness. We celebrate that connectedness.”

Rebuilding Dreams will be at Lakefront Brewery on Thursday, August 9, 2012 from 6 until 10 p.m. Tickets are $60.

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