Mission of Hope makes strides
Homeless shelter needs volunteers
By Scott Bellile
Improvements continue to take place at a nonprofit homeless shelter that aims to open in New London this year.
Shelter founder Lori Prahl said the Mission of Hope House, 520 N. Shawano St., has ample volunteer opportunities available to help speed up the job.
These include installing snap-on floorings in the bedrooms, laying tile in the bathroom and porch area, staffing or sorting inventory at The Bridge Thrift Store across the street, and even, for artsy community members, helping with painting or sculpting for outdoor decorative garden projects behind MOHH.
Jean Skewes, who is leading landscaping efforts with Steve Petznick and Jeremy Pues, said help is also needed with finishing a front yard landscaping project that began in May. She also seeks ideas and supplies for hiding rain barrels on the property, such as a picket fence.
Additionally, the MOHH seeks financial contributions, as it has raised and expended three quarters of the $400,000 needed to complete renovations and construction.
Call the MOHH at 920-249-4705 or email MOHHofWI@gmail.com if interested in helping through volunteerism or donations.
Tammy Esser, supervisor of the city of New London’s Camp Hatten program, brought children over at the end of June to volunteer. Their service was part of Camp Hatten’s Kids Care week, which began three years ago as a way for kids to perform community service while applying the School District of New London’s Bulldogs of Character principles.
The children cleaned up outside the MOHH and The Bridge, sorted inventory at The Bridge and stuffed pledge letters into envelopes.
“It was a great experience for the kids and they were really excited to help out,” Esser said. “It was gratifying to see their enthusiasm and to see how they were connecting the skills that they learn in school and applying it to their community.”
Prahl said beginning in August, The Bridge’s hours will change to noon to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The changes will allow shoppers after-work hours one night a week as well as earlier hours on one day.
Once finished and opened, the MOHH will provide shelter to 21 homeless individuals, primarily families, from Waupaca County and surrounding counties. The drug- and alcohol-free facility will also offer residents resources to help them become independent such as classes on budgeting, cooking, job skills and parenting.
MOHH has received countless valuable donations and grants from individuals and community organizations. Prahl said naming them all would run the risk of omitting a name.
Mathewson Monuments will install a donor sign in the front yard next to the Pfeifer Park trail next week. The sign will name the contributors who gave more than $5,000 as well as provide inspirational quotes for passerby.