County?s first homeless shelter to open
Homelessness. It occurs every day.
Unfortunately, for some families and individuals in Lincoln County being without a place to call home is a reality. In the last three years, 29 people from Lincoln County have sought refuge at Frederick Place (the homeless shelter in Oneida County), and seven people stayed at the Salvation Armys’ shelter in Marathon County. Having to leave Lincoln County, where they may work and have children in school, causes additional hardship. These numbers are the documented cases of homeless people, but it doesn’t take into account the people who live in their vehicles or couch surf from one friends’ house to another.
A group of people have been meeting in Tomahawk to address this situation. They have created TRUTH (Three Rivers United Temporary Housing) that will be opening Our Sisters’ House, the first homeless shelter in Lincoln County. Having met with the Homeless Task Force in Merrill, they are prepared to house people from the Merrill area.
Our Sisters’ House will house families or individuals for up to three months. During those three months the residents will be working on goals they set for themselves each week. Staff and volunteers at the shelter will assist people in finding permanent housing, gaining employment, finishing their education, and seeking medical attention or counseling needs.
There will be a zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol. Sex offenders and convicted felons will not be admitted. Minors will have to be accompanied by an adult.
Our Sisters’ House, which is named after the nuns who once lived there, is located at 328 E. Washington St. in Tomahawk. TRUTH will be leasing the home from St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
The group is currently finishing the paperwork to receive non-profit status. Renovation plans are made and will begin as fundraising allows.
Our Sisters’ House will host an open house on Saturday, Aug. 2 where anyone can come to view the home, ask board members questions, and hear about the renovation plans.
A golf outing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 23, to raise funds for renovations. This will be a nine-hole scramble with cart and chicken and beef buffet dinner for $45 at Inshalla Golf Course in Tomahawk. There will be hole events (including a $5,000 hole in one), a putting contest, and basket raffle.
More fundraising events are in the planning process.