Lend a Hand in ending a crisis

Last year the birth of Lend a Hand started with my ramblings in this blog and from an article I wrote for the Messenger of Juneau County

You can see some of those ramblings here

This morning I found myself needing to write an alert out to the community - as I wrote it I thought about the people in the gulf and what they too must be going through - it's so heartbreaking that so many are hurting so deeply throughout this country....

anyway...take a look and if you can help...please do. 

We have a crisis going on - Lend a Hand and Grateful Hearts are swamped with calls of need. While the economy may be picking up in other areas of Wisconsin, Juneau County is still feeling the choke hold.
Couple that with summer being a time most do not have homelessness on their radar, and our names spreading as a place to go for help means we are now in a greater need ourselves than ever before for community support and fundraising.
An example of some of the calls LAH has received this past week -
Example 1: A husband and wife with 6 kids (3 full time and 3 p/t) are both unemployed and on the verge of being evicted. The only money coming in is some child support. Both are looking for jobs and have their applications at various companies. They are unable to apply for assistance with Community Action as prior to being unemployed that organization helped them get into their rental...life caved in.
They are on the 14 month waiting list for HUD housing
The only thing LAH could do at this point is provide a band-aid and one that wouldn't cover the wound as a short-term stay at a motel will not help them unless they could qualify for other housing programs.
Family referred to LAH from other agencies
Example 2: A domestic violence victim who has been married 20+ plus years. DV entered the home after the spouse suffered brain trauma. The DV victim works two jobs but had to leave the home in search of safety - because of victim's income they do not qualify for assistance programs...but the victim's income maintains the family home and mortgage payments. Shelter living outside of the county would place the victim in greater financial need as their jobs are local. The victim was referred to LAH from a DV Advocacy Org.
Example 3: Unemployed male living out of his car. He recently separated with wife. He receives unemployment but waiting for first payment and most will go towards child support. The only shelters for single males are 70+ miles away from Mauston - Without being approved for housing programs all LAH could do at this time was refer this male to another shelter.
Example 4:  Family will be without a roof come July 1st....2 adults and 2 children.. ages 3 and 4. The only income is child support at this time. Family was referred to Community Action in hopes they could get on a waiting list for their programs and then kick in with emergency shelter as of July 1st  as the waiting list can be 3-6 weeks for the programs...if they qualify.
These are just a glimpse of the type of calls we've had this week. There are more like the above. Prior to our meeting last night, LAH had just under $700 to work with. Motel stays range from $129 a week and up depending on the size of the family...because of this we need to be careful on who we approve and who we refer to shelters in other counties as one week or two weeks will not provide the help someone needs unless they are on a waiting list.
Below is our financial report:

(for some reason when this is pasted into the email, some fields are marked out...email us and we can provide you with a copy of the full report)
It is worthy to mention this report does not reflect approximately $291.00 in donations received in the last couple of days..........
We think about the homeless during the cold winter months because no one wants to see a child freeze and go without food. But we also need to think about the steamy humid hot days as well, heat exhaustion kills.
As a community you all have been more than supportive in helping us meet these needs. It's inspiring to know that we can all come together...no matter what our differences are...in helping to provide shelter for our neighbors.
Go back to your workplace, your family and friends, your church and other organizations you may belong to...share with them about LAH and get CREATIVE!!! Help us with fund raisers!
We can work together on this issue that affects our county!!!
While you're at it, think about Grateful Hearts...right now they are in need of diapers and batteries for the children. You may wonder why about the  batteries, but think about the toys that are donated and the other baby supplies that all run on batteries...without them, they don't operate.
Contact us if you have any questions!!!
Thank you for paying attention!
Lend a Hand's mission is to assist and strengthen the Juneau County Community
 by addressing the needs of limited income individuals and families, 
aiding them to become self-sufficient, and creating public awareness 
and education while serving as a resource to those touched by
 unexpected emergencies as they cope with housing uncertainty.
Donations can be sent to:
Lend a Hand
203 Milwaukee St
Mauston, WI. 53948
Phone - 608 547-4476
Visit on the web at: LEND A HAND

The first video I made when wanting to work on this issue, and just weeks before Lend a Hand formed...

to this video...not even a year old Lend a Hand is, and we're working together to help our community!



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