Homelessness in Lincoln County
Our Sisters’ House
National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This is a time for us all to start to think about what we are thankful for, a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness, and work toward a world where no one has to experience Hunger or Homelessness. This week offers us the chance to bring awareness to the homelessness situation we have right here in Lincoln County.
Homelessness is often assumed to be an urban problem because homeless people are more numerous and visible there. However, people experience the same difficulties associated with homelessness in small towns and rural areas, and Merrill is no exception. In fact, homeless persons in rural areas are often undercounted and underserved due to the lack of rural service sites.
The more people I meet who know homelessness first hand, the more I realize that they live lives very similar to mine and yours. When I hear how they came to be homeless, I know many of us could be just a few missteps away from finding ourselves in the same situation. Loss of job, an illness, a death that disrupts a family support system, accidents, transportation issues, the list goes on. None of us are immune from these bad things that can happen.
I HOPE BY NOW YOU ARE ASKING WHAT CAN I DO?
Our Sisters’ House homeless shelter serves the whole county as it is Lincoln County’s only homeless shelter. It is located in Tomahawk and has been accepting residents for over a month now. Our mission is to provide temporary housing and living essentials to those in need, in a safe environment that fosters a sense of self-worth, promotes self-sufficiency and strives for independent living.
You may already be a volunteer at Our Sisters’ House, and we do appreciate each and every one of you. Please continue to share positively the work being done and ask a friend to come along with you. We are currently half full with seven guests; men, women and children in the home at this time, and more are expected this week as all other area shelters are full.
If you have not signed up to volunteer at the house, please consider it. Our Sisters’ House is staffed 24/7 which means it takes 42 volunteers each week covering a 4 hour shift. Help us to make a difference, right here, right now. Please call 715-224-3520 or stop in at 328 E. Washington St. in Tomahawk and fill out a volunteer application.
If volunteering at the house does not interest you, there are many other ways you can share your time or talents, please take action. Be part of the solution! We need transportation for residents, evening meals, committee members, help fundraising, the list goes on and on. Make the phone call and we’ll find a spot for you.
CAN’T DONATE YOUR TIME RIGHT NOW?
Consider helping us in a monetary way. At full capacity of 14 residents x 365 days a year, we will be providing over 5,000 bed nights (This is how services are counted). Please consider sponsoring a bed night with a donation of $40. This donation not only supplies a nice warm bed and a hot shower, it also represents three meals a day, and so much more. Each resident has a case manager working with them to help where it is needed. That will be different for each resident but can include budgeting help, job search, GED or other education opportunities, finding permanent shelter, applying for and getting the services available to them. Really, anything that can be done to help them strive towards self-sufficiency and independent living. Donations can be dropped off at the house, mailed to TRUTH, PO Box 423, Tomahawk, WI 54487 or made online at our website www.oursistershousetomahawk.org using paypal.
Please like us on facebook, check out our website and help to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness in your town and the surrounding communities.