JenAnn began attending EXPO events in 2018. She joined the EXPO team in 2022 as a fellow organizer and is now the proud organizer for the Fox Cities Chapter. JenAnn is also a Shelter Advocate for Family Promise of Ozaukee County and a Housing Advocate for ESTHER Fox Valley. You might notice a theme…that’s because JenAnn was released homeless by the Dept. Of Corrections. 

As a Wisconsinite, I begged for treatment when I realized I couldn’t get off the medication on my own. Due to state insurance, I was denied repeatedly. Yet our state didn’t hesitate to incarcerate me when my substance use disorder led me to the point of no return. The judge said, “Prison is the best treatment I can offer you”.  When my teenage son was struggling and needed a mentor, structure and a caring environment the state’s “best” option was a youth treatment facility.

If our “best” options are institutional settings, we are failing our people! By sharing our truth and lived experiences I firmly believe we can bring awareness of what the criminal legal system is, and what it is not.

My focus in 2023 is to invite individuals to consider using people centered language – we are all much more than our greatest regret. Other things to highlight: UNLOCK THE VOTE for the many individuals working and paying taxes without a say in who represents them. And of course, safe, affordable and dignified housing.