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About Us

~ As an active member of the Monroe County community, Families First supports and assists residents through their financial & life challenges with respectful & empowering services ~

Families First of Monroe County, Inc. was created in 1994 by the Monroe County Planning Council, a diverse group of professionals and concerned community members, to address the burgeoning unmet needs of individuals and families in crisis living in Monroe County.


The goal, to align efforts under one roof that eliminates the duplication of services while streamlining resources to better help stabilize households that reduces the likelihood of further crisis from occurring.

For over 20 years, Families First worked hard to bring about positive change and is a proud member of a collaborative network of individuals, agencies, groups and partnerships helping those living with the conditions of poverty have a better existence while helping them find opportunities to improve their lives for the futures of themselves, their families, and their communities.

As a 501(c)3, not-for-profit, Families First seeks to provide resources, referral and services to those in need of support. Families First has one of the largest imprints of any emergency assistance program in Wisconsin serving approximately 20,000 people through case care management, utility assistance, employment enhancement, eviction prevention, basic needs and so much more.

Though many variables have changed in the last 23 years, our need to support our neighbors facing challenges remains constant. It is estimated that more than 15% of Monroe County residents are living in poverty. This means that at any given time, nearly 7,000 people in Monroe County are struggling to maintain housing, food, clothing or transportation for their household.

Through the years, Families First has been governed by a 12-member Board of Directors which included current and retired professionals, members of the community and individuals who represent the interest of those living in poverty. In addition to the board, a professional leadership team manages our agency, a highly motivated, deeply committed set of individuals who work every day to help those who need it most.

Whether you are visiting our website as a potential participant, a current participant, seeking information on behalf of another, wanting to volunteer or looking for a way to help people in our communities – we hope you will find all of the information that you need. Please reach out to any of us for additional information by contacting us at

Help fellow Monroe County residents understand the needs of neighbors in need! Poverty and Homelessness are very real elements in Monroe County communities. Many households work hard and still struggle to meet basic needs. 

If you, or your group, are interested in learning more regarding poverty and challenges facing residents of Monroe County, please contact our office. We are happy to speak to your group!




Since 1996, Families First has committed to improving the health and welfare of Monroe County through increasing long-term self-sufficiency skills and abilities with residents struggling to pay their bills, find employment, at-risk of losing their homes or experience homelessness, maintain heat or electricity, fix a vehicle or provide medication to their children because of the cost.


Strengthening individuals and families provides a foundation for success. Family First solves the root of those problems by building on individuals and family’s assets and creating lasting impact. Our services and programming are prevention-focused, strengths-based, culturally informed, and outcomes driven. We provide these services within the community to teach, nurture, and support individuals and families in impactful and lasting ways so that:

  • Individuals and families report they are better informed, stably housed and readier to address underlying threats to their self-sufficiency, like past addiction or inadequate income.

  • Individuals and families report they are better prepared to manage their money, build personal savings and spend/invest wisely.

  • Individuals and families report they are better connected to their communities and the mainstream resources that are helping to sustain them.

  • Individuals and families can live healthier, successful lives making better choices that are less crisis driven and more self-sustaining.

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