Rapids mission leaders learn from other homeless shelters - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rapids mission leaders learn from other homeless shelters

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Jeff Hueghins of Hope Gospel gives a tour of Hope Gospel Mission in Eau Claire Jeff Hueghins of Hope Gospel gives a tour of Hope Gospel Mission in Eau Claire

by Bryon Graff

EAU CLAIRE (WAOW) - The Wisconsin Rapids area has a tremendous need for homeless shelter.  Helping Hands Gospel Mission searches for the best way to meet those needs.

Dawn Wolf and Jens Joling from Helping Hands Gospel Mission in Wisconsin Rapids tour the Hope Gospel Mission in Eau Claire.

Joling/Helping Hands Board Vice President: "When we talk to the public school liaison she said there were over 240 children registered as homeless in our area. So that alone tells you that there is a great need."

Hope Gospel has been a safe haven for the homeless the past ten years. So Helping Hands leaders gather as much information as they can from them, as well as other shelters in Wausau and Rhinelander, as they get their own shelter off the ground.

Joling: "We feel like we need to do some job shadowing, just like you would in any other kind of a position. You need to get the ins and outs of how a shelter is run and all of the different aspects of it."

Helping Hands has already received certification from the state (501 C3) to move into a building. Now they have to find the right place and figure out what renovations need to be made. They're still waiting on some IRS forms. And hope to fill their director position in the near future. That way they can serve the community just like Hope Gospel Mission does in Eau Claire.

Helping Hands is working with other service groups in the Wisconsin Rapids area... so they can learn just how large the homeless population is.

They plan to start with a shelter that holds 30 to 40 men, because men make up about 70% of the homeless population.

Later they would branch out to women and children.

Online Reporter: Bryon Graff

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