Some have wondered why the anticipated Habitat Home homeless shelter hasn’t opened yet this winter, The building at 407 W. Main St. was acquired for the Homeless Center in October of 2017.
It was clear that renovations had to be done to adapt the building to the needs of an operational warming center/shelter. The newly formed Merrill Community Homeless Center Inc. has been working on it. Building Plans were developed, and changes were made along the way to meet required codes. The State of Wisconsin is key to approving the Building Plan, which is necessary to acquire a Building Permit.
On Feb. 13, the MCHC Board received word that the Building Plan had been approved and the Building Permit was obtained on Feb. 14. Now the real work begins. A crew of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity will handle the demolition needed to prepare the building for construction. Bids were selected in late January and the three mechanical contractors awarded bids are: Merrill Sheet Metal, RTL Electric and Krueger Plumbing. The renovations are expected to cost approximately $150,000. Thus, the Board continues to work on donations.
“The Merrill Community Homeless Center, Inc. Board members are very excited with the opportunity to serve the poor and less fortunate with the future opening of the Habitat Home in Merrill,” said board member Dee Olsen. “We want to thank everyone for all their encouragement and positive support for this community project. Several community organizations, churches and individuals have already stepped forward donating materials, their time as future volunteers, as well as help with the demolition and construction of our facility.
“As we now enter the construction phase, we look for further assistance,” Olsen added. “To all those agencies and individuals that are interested in helping donate or put funds towards specific items for the Habitat Shelter we have listed below some items and their project costs. We will do our best to keep this list up to date on our Facebook page as donations come it and additional operating/equipment needs become aware to us.”
To support the project, mail your donation to Habitat Home, P. O. Box 324, Merrill, WI 54452. Please feel free to make a note with your donation if you or your agency would like to support a specific item below.
Needed item(s): Dishwasher, washer, dryer, microwave, windows, toilets (3), vanities (3), sinks (3), counter tops (3), shower units (3), computers (2), monitors (6), fire alarm system, security system, door locks, desk, interior doors and exterior door.
Serving on the Merrill Community Homeless Center, Inc. Board of Directors are: President Michael Ravn, Vice President Denis McCarthy, Secretary Dee Olsen, Treasurer Art Lersch and Board members Paul Wagner, Don Heyel, Kathy Gruett, Sue Norenberg, Mark Jahnke and Pastor Susan Christian.
Going forward the organization will work on a fund raising effort to help with the additional cost, including operation costs.
“Thanks again for all your encouragement and positive support for the less fortunate in our community,” Olsen said. “This is another example of why Merrill is such a wonderful community.”