Follow-up: Wausau church volunteers helping homeless - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Follow-up: Wausau church volunteers helping homeless

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

A Wausau church is helping feed and clothe the homeless. The effort started this summer and has grown into something coordinators said is transforming lives.

"Gazebo Outreach" volunteers at the Downtown Mission Church in Wausau said they're seeing positive changes.

"We're just continuing to build relationships, so it's a work in progress," said Bridgette Groth, Gazebo Outreach Coordinator.

The program started in July.

Volunteers help feed and clothe dozens of Wausau's homeless.

Church leaders said they're excited by all of the positive things coming out of their Gazebo Outreach program.

"All of the sudden, the whole church was getting involved and Panera started giving bread, and it's just been, seeing the transformation that has happened in the lives of the people down there, has been amazing," said Charlie Salamone, Downtown Mission Church Pastor.

In our last story, we met a man named Lance Shoemaker.

He'd lost his job more than two and half years ago, and recently, lived under a Wausau bridge.

But, things have changed.

"Lance now has a job and he is staying with a friend," said Groth.

Church leaders hope to help others do the same.

"Very good news for Lance, we're excited for him," said Groth.

Volunteers said others have found jobs too.

"It's a life-transforming opportunity," said Salamone.

Community members have also helped.

After our original report, an anonymous donor gave 12 sleeping bags and mats to the cause.

"To see it just spring up has been amazing," said Salamone.

The cold weather won't hinder the effort.

Church leaders are moving the program to their Washington Street location.
    
"We just need to keep providing them with warm clothing, hand warmers, making sure that they do have everything that they need," said Groth.

Volunteers said now they're buying backpacks to help the group get ready for winter.

---------------------------------------

If you'd like to help, contact the Downtown Mission Church:

316 Washington Street
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: 715-261-2727

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