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 Army's 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. We 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 we were told that we will be getting calls possibly once a week 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., Tomahawk. We will be leasing the home from St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
We are currently finishing the paperwork to receive non-profit status. Renovation plans are made and will begin as fundraising allows.
We are hosting an open house Saturday, Aug. 2, where anyone can come to view the home, ask board members questions, and hear about the renovation plans.
We are also having a golf outing 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.
There is more information on our website, www.oursistershousetomahawk.org.
For more information, call Lori Winch at 715-252-8036.