Randlin Homes in deep financial trouble - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Randlin Homes in deep financial trouble

Randlin Homes, a Wausau non-profit organization that helps veterans and the homeless, is having trouble making ends meet.

Carl Paglini, a resident, had been living on the road before he made Randlin his new home.

"I was actually living in my truck, and had exhausted my finances, basically didn't have any place to go," said Paglini.

It helps the homeless, the disabled, veterans, and those with criminal backgrounds. By providing a place to stay, and offering education, it enables them to adjust to society. Most importantly, Randlin Homes residents said, it gives them hope.

"This has given me a second chance on life pretty much," said Paglini.

But, things aren't looking good financially for Randlin Homes. The co-founder said each month the organization has to come up with $30,000 to run the business.  For rent and utilities alone it owes more than $26,000. To top it off, the non-profit is also past due on its taxes. Leaders said if they don't come up with enough money by Monday, their power will be shut off. 

"Our sole funding comes from people buying at our stores, buying our coupon books, coming to our brat fries, and giving donations. We have no city, county, state, federal or VA funding, none," said Linda Larson Schlitz, co-founder of Randlin Homes.

So how did Randlin Homes end up in this financial mess? Organizers said they don't turn anyone away. And because they have so many people coming in, they don't have enough staff to keep up. That's led to a lack of productivity for the services they offer, like running their thrift stores. 

"We have 1.5 staff, to manage all of this and our two stores and 46 potential residents and six houses," said Larson Schlitz.

In an attempt to climb out of their rut, leaders said they are holding a series of fundraisers.

"We're totally dependent on the community, totally," said Larson Schlitz.

And they are taking advice from non-profit organization experts on how to run Randlin Homes more efficiently.

"We kind of have to get our ducks in a row and make some changes, do some restructuring, which we're doing," said Larson Schlitz.

If Randlin Homes doesn't make a turn-around financially, organizers said people, like Paglini, will be left on their own.

"Without this, I can't say truthfully where I would end up," said Paglini.

"They'll be back on the street to be honest. They'll be back on the street, because they have no place, if they had a place they wouldn't be here," said Larson Schlitz.

To help pay the bills, organizers are having a brat fry starting Friday at the Wal-Mart in Rib Mountain. It will last through the weekend.

Leaders are also planning to host more fundraisers in May and June, head to randlinhomes.org for more information.
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