Future homeless shelter granted tax exempt status
Three Rivers United Temporary Housing, Inc (T.R.U.T.H.), the business arm of Our Sisters’ House, is now an approved 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charity under US tax law. The IRS grants this status upon organizations that meet specific legal requirements and operate under strict conditions with the goal of providing a public benefit. 501(c)3 status makes T.R.U.T.H. exempt from paying federal taxes and allows any donations to be a tax deduction for the donor. This status is also a requirement by most foundations and all government agencies when applying for grants. The process was started in May of this year and was expected to take up to a year to complete. After many forms and paperwork, legal advice, government fees, and a lot of effort by the entire Board of Directors and other volunteers, T.R.U.T.H. was able to surpass this milestone and be granted exempt status.
President of the T.R.U.T.H. board, Bernice Duchac was excited about the organization getting the news. “We are pleased to say Our Sisters’ House doors are one giant step closer to opening now that we are tax exempt. We look forward to making a difference in the lives of those faced with homelessness in Lincoln County and the surrounding area.”
“While fundraising efforts have been on-going since May, using the help of Grace Lutheran Church and their non-profit status, our reach has been limited primarily to individual donors, area churches and help from a few area businesses,” said board treasurer, Lori Winch. “With our non-profit status we can now reach out to area corporations and foundations that may have funds available for this worthy cause.”
Board member and finance committee chair, Cathy Sennett added, “Since our beginning talks, we knew that a non-profit status would be instrumental in gaining the amount of funds needed to support this endeavor.” Preliminary budgets indicate that T.R.U.T.H. will need $100,000 annually to support Our Sisters’ House at full capacity. “
Around $80,000 is required first for some upgrades needed, remodeling to improve capacity and additions of a handicap ramp and facilities to meet federal guidelines for homeless shelters.
“It is hoped that much of these initial funds needed will be off-set by materials gifted from area businesses and also volunteer labor,” said John Novitzke, board member and housing chairperson. “It would take a lot of garage sales, bake sales and spaghetti dinners to raise this kind of capital, so we will need to rely on the generosity of this community to get these projects done.”
This is a big undertaking that will require the entire county’s involvement. Local fundraising efforts will continue with plans being finalized for several upcoming events.
You can follow the progress at www.OurSistersHouseTomahawk.org, where upcoming meetings and fundraising events will be posted. If you would like to help in any way, you can email OurSistersHouseTomahawk@gmail.com or like the organization on facebook. Donations can be addressed to TRUTH at PO Box 423, Tomahawk, WI 54487.